North Central West Virginia medical centers begin using COVID-19 infusion treatment

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 5:16 PM EST
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W.Va (WDTV) - COVID-19 infusion treatment has been used in North Central West Virginia. The treatment is helpful to those with mild to moderate symptoms.

“It’s an excellent choice for those that have mild to moderate symptoms,” said MD Infectious Disease Physician at Mon Health Medical Center Dr. Archana Vasudevan.

The Mon Health Medical Center recently received this coronavirus medication. Davis Medical center in Elkins started using the treatment in mid-January.

At the end of December, Governor Jim Justice said the state only had 1,400 doses and were expecting to receive more, but patients must still meet a certain criteria to receive it, and they have to do so within 10 days of testing positive.

“It is given as an IV infusion. It is run for one hour and then after that we monitor our patients for an hour to make sure everything is okay,” said Dr. Vasudevan.

The treatment is made up of Monoclonal antibodies. It’s laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses, and in the case of COVID-19, the treatment is called Bamlanivimab or BAM.

“It binds to the virus and prevents it from attaching to the human cells,” Dr. Vasudevan continued.

So far, Mon Health has infused around 40 doses of the antibody.

Dr. Vasudevan says data has shown it helps reduce hospitalization by decreasing the chances of patients having severe symptoms.

“The other important thing to keep in mind is once more patients get treated, the transmission is less, so basically they are infecting fewer people once they get treated themselves, and that is important as well while we’re waiting for the vaccination to roll out to the general public,” Dr. Vasudevan said.

Dr. Vasudevan also says even if you receive this treatment, after 90 days you should consider getting the vaccine.

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