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Public Health teams up with St. Charles to provide monoclonal antibody treatments

A promising treatment proven to prevent severe COVID symptoms will soon be available in Madras.

"It's a really groundbreaking process that's really simple," says Jefferson County Public Health Director Michael Baker. "It's a kickstart to your own immune system so your body fights off the infection and you're not required to go into the hospital. That's pretty exciting."

The treatment, monoclonal antibodies, gives people a boost of antibodies targeted specifically to the coronavirus. Given to a person who already has COVID, the antibodies prevent symptoms from becoming more severe.

"Usually within a couple of days after treatment, symptoms begin to drastically decrease," says Baker.

Currently, people in Jefferson County suffering from COVID need to go to Redmond to get this treatment.

Public Health and St. Charles are working on a plan to provide the treatment at St. Charles Madras. The hospital will provide the facility and the medication, Public Health personnel will staff the clinics.

The treatments provide relief to the overcrowded hospitals, but also relief to suffering patients.

"The typical person who gets the treatment is already showing moderate to almost severe symptoms. So, they're already feeling miserable," says Baker.

The COVID vaccines train your body to resist infection. The monoclonal antibodies give your body fighting power after you've been infected.

While other treatments address the symptoms, these antibodies target the virus itself and reduce its damaging impacts.

Baker hopes to hold clinics three days a week.

"You're placed in a lounge chair. You receive the treatment. The nurses monitor you," says Baker. "You get some additional fluids and a light snack, and an hour later, you're free to go home. The turnaround is dramatic in just a couple days."

People qualify for the treatments if they have symptoms or if they test positive and have risk factors that make them likely to develop severe symptoms.

Baker expect the clinics to be up and running by the end of September or the first week of October.

"The ultimate goal is to keep people out of the hospital," says Baker.


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