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South Florida doctors tout potentially life-saving COVID-19 therapy

South Florida doctors are sounding the alarm on a potentially life-saving treatment for COVID-19: monoclonal antibody therapy.
Posted at 1:28 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 17:56:48-04

With so many people waiting to get vaccinated and covid cases continuing to rise, local doctors want you to know about a potential life-saving treatment.

It's called monoclonal antibody therapy.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, it is antibodies that are lab-produced proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful viruses.

It’s currently under emergency use authorization by the FDA and the drug is a combination of Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab.

The therapy is for adults age 65 or older or people with pre-existing health conditions who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19.

Medical experts said it drastically reduces hospitalizations among positive COVID patients and death.

Dr. Lyssette Cardona explains monoclonal antibody therapy

A doctor who oversees this therapy at the Cleveland Clinic Florida Martin Health said patients immediately feel a difference and the therapy potentially save lives.

"Antibody therapies have been used in the past. They’ve been used for other viruses," said Dr. Lyssette Cardona, Department Chair for Infectious Disease at Martin Health. “The monoclonal lab-produced ones are available immediately to work and fight the infection. We give it the earliest possible during your illness so you can have the best benefit.”

Robert Meibauer, 72, of Port Saint Lucie received the treatment after it was recommended by his doctor. Meibauer had a lung condition that resulted in his lower lobe of his left lung being removed. In addition, a few years later, he had 40% of his right lung removed because of several lung collapses. When he tested positive for coronavirus just last month, he knew it would be life-threatening.

“The last thing I wanted to do was to go to the ER, be admitted, get on a ventilator. That was not the course I wanted to do,” said Meibauer.

His daughter Wendy Curtis also tested positive for covid.

"It felt like this is it. There's nothing I can do to beat this virus. It had me getting up and getting a glass of water was like climbing Mount Everest,” said Curtis

Waiting to get the vaccine was long and time was ticking for them for a solution. That's when monoclonal antibody treatment came into play.

Robert & his daughter both received the infusion therapy together and immediately noticed a difference.

"This saved my life. I have no doubt that," said Meibauer.

After the infusion, patients are monitored for an hour before being released.

Doctor Cardona says people who receive this treatment have to wait 90 days before getting a COVID vaccine. But always consult with your primary doctor.

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