• 59°

Merit Health offering new virus treatment

NATCHEZ — Merit Health Natchez recently began providing an antibody infusion therapy for COVID-19, known as monoclonal antibodies.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorization for the drugs, Regeneron and Bamlanivimab in late 2020.

They are approved for high-risk adult and pediatric COVID-19 positive patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses. They are designed to attach to parts of the virus and help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus.

Dr. Geoffrey Flattmann, general surgeon and chief of staff at Merit Health Natchez, has already seen positive results in the patients he has treated with this infusion therapy.

“This is another tool in our toolbox and one we are grateful to have at our local hospital. People should inquire about this therapy through their primary care physician within 10 days or less of contracting COVID-19. Your physician will determine if you meet the criteria for this treatment,” Flattmann said.

Merit Health Natchez has designated patient rooms in a restricted care zone on its second floor to administer the medications on an outpatient basis.

“These drugs are allocated to us through our Mississippi State Department of Health, and we are pleased to have adequate dosages on hand,” said Lance Boyd, CEO of Merit Health Natchez.

“I commend our medical staff for their quick and positive response to our roll out of information on this therapy and our hospital’s processes and policies put in place for their ordering and administering. If this treatment can benefit those who are in the right risk groups, it can reduce their risk of getting sicker and very important for us, reduce their chances of hospitalization,” he said.

“We are excited about this promising treatment for high-risk patients early in a COVID-19 Diagnosis,” said Lee Hinson, chief nursing officer. “We also want to take this time to remind our community that we all must make every effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 by following CDC quarantine guidelines, limiting gatherings, wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining social distance. And, of course, the ultimate answer is the rollout of the vaccine for all,” Hinson said.

The monoclonal antibody treatment is given as an outpatient and must be ordered by a physician. If you are COVID-19 positive and want to know if this treatment is available to you, contact your primary care physician.

COVID-19

New inmates at Adams County prison cause record COVID-19 spike

News

City looks to hire full-time parks and recreation director

News

Man shot in Vidalia trailer park dies, CPSO investigating second shooting in Wildsville

News

Natchez officials expand tax incentives for property improvements

Business

City of Natchez signs lease with Viking USA, American Cruise Lines for new docks

News

Natchez selected to receive $492K from EPA to use at former Titan Tire

News

City receives $1.2 million for emergency bluff stabilization project

News

Update: Suspect in Tuesday morning shooting arrested

News

UPDATE: Missing juvenile found

News

Family searching for missing teen

Business

Natchez trucking company in need of CDL drivers

News

Mississippi to end federal unemployment supplement

News

Two children injured in dirt bike accident when struck by car

News

Victims identified in fatal crash Thursday in Vidalia

News

Katie’s Ladies model celebrates 102nd birthday

News

Dart: Natchez is second home to radio show producer, DJ

News

Trial delayed for Adams County murder suspect

News

One dead, 2 injured in two vehicle wreck in Vidalia

News

CPSB selects two finalists for next superintendent

Business

Atmos Energy replacing gas pipes for some Natchez residents

News

Schools to get $31 million for COVID-19

News

Man sentenced to 40 years Wednesday for killing step-daughter, injuring 3 other relatives

News

Officials working to bring commercial flights to Natchez-Adams Airport

News

Five candidates remaining for next CPSB Superintendent