TAMPA, Fla. - With hospital beds filling up across the state, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Tampa General Hospital, which, he said, is having great success with a treatment for COVID-19 that is not well known.
TGH was the first in Florida to offer monoclonal antibodies. It is a highly effective therapy for people who contract COVID-19.
More than 1,600 patients have received the antibody cocktails at the hospital’s infusion clinic at the Global Emerging Diseases Institute. The treatment has been shown to help reduce hospitalizations and prevent the worsening of COVID-19 symptoms.
The key is getting the monoclonal antibodies early. The therapy works best right after you test positive, or within seven days of developing mild to moderate symptoms.
"If this is gonna work, you really gotta do it early," said Governor DeSantis. "If you test positive and kinda just wait and hope that it doesn’t get worse and then it starts to get very severe, by that time doing the monoclonal antibody treatment is probably not gonna be something that’s gonna turn the tide."
What are monoclonal antibodies?
Monoclonal antibodies are manmade proteins that act like antibodies in your own immune system, neutralizing the virus and keeping it from infecting your cells.
"It attacks the virus, so you want to get it into you early on, within seven days of when symptoms appear, and it’s particularly useful for people who need a little help with their immune system," infectious disease specialist Dr. Kami Kim explained.
Patients who receive the hour-long infusion of monoclonal antibodies report feeling better in 24 to 48 hours. It is available at hospitals and centers across the state with your doctor’s recommendation.