JACKSON, Mississippi (WLBT) – Days after issuing an emergency use authorization allowing the use of monoclonal antibody treatments for some people with COVID-19, state health officials now say the treatment can be used to prevent it.
Medical officials offered treatment advice during the Mississippi State Medical Association’s question-and-answer session on Friday.
State health official Dr Thomas Dobbs said anyone who has been exposed to the virus and is at risk of developing a severe case could benefit from prophylactic treatment.
“One of the things we encouraged from the start was people in nursing homes – long-term care facilities,” he said. “We know they are particularly vulnerable. In the context of an epidemic, we strongly encourage people to consider using monoclonal drugs for this.
“Pregnant women will certainly benefit as well. Pregnant women have a lot of problems, and it’s also dangerous for the baby, ”she said.
When asked, he said a perfect example of a person who should use the preventative would be a pregnant mother who has a child or another family member who brings the virus home.
“We’ve seen situations where they’ve brought COVID home and they haven’t,” he said. “(There are) a lot of cases in children now and once they get into the household they don’t stay with the index case. ”
Dobbs referred to the index case as the first person in a household or family to contract the virus.
He said the Mississippi State Department of Health is communicating the advice to obstetricians and considering setting up a Health Alert Network (HAN) alert.
State epidemiologist Paul Byers said the MSDH had already sent initial guidelines, saying monoclonal drugs should be used as a preventative treatment for adults and children 12 and older who have been exposed to COVID and are ” at high risk of progression to severe COVID. -19, who are not fully vaccinated or (who should not) develop an adequate immune response to a full set of … vaccines they had before.
Last week, the MSDH issued an emergency use authorization allowing the use of antibody therapy for certain people infected with the virus.
Criteria for receiving treatment include people 65 years of age or older, obese, pregnant, living with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease or immunosuppressants, sickle cell anemia, and other conditions.
Currently, monoclonal products are offered at 180 sites across the state.
The news comes even as the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the state and the state reaches several grim milestones, including the highest daily death toll of 111 and surpassing it. more than 8,200 deaths in total.
However, there are a few bright spots. Byers said earlier this week that the numbers were starting to stabilize and more people were being re-vaccinated.
“We administered 80,000 doses last week. (I think we’re) going to) overtake it this week, ”he said. ” It’s encouraging. That’s what’s going to help us get out of it in the long run.
Meanwhile, chief medical officer Dr Daniel Edney said having monoclonal antibodies in their arsenals gave many doctors a new sense of hope.
Edney said: “The comments from primary care (doctors are that) this is the first time they have felt they are fighting.”
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