Antibody Treatment for Covid Must Come Early

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - During the city’s covid news conference today, we mostly heard about the need to vaccinate.

But there was another strong message from that panel today, that if you get sick, there is treatment if you act early.

That’s a lesson that one Lubbock family is grateful to be able to share with others now.

“It was a nightmare. I don’t ever want to have to go through that again.” Sarah Molina says she and her husband, Jimmy, were both diagnosed with COVID-19 on June 11th.

They suspect one of the kids brought it home although the kids never really got sick. But, within days, the situation was dire for Jimmy and Sarah. She says, “We had all the symptoms. It started with bad headaches, started with cough, congestion, body aches.”

Then, Jimmy developed breathing problems and ended up in the hospital. He says, “We’re like man, what are we going to do if something happens to us?”

Dr. Ron Cook, Lubbock Health Authority, said today in the Covid news conference, “If you’re sick, you may be able to receive this antibody infusion and stay out of the hospital.”

Luckily Jimmy and Sarah were referred to this clinic in Lubbock at 50th and University because they qualified for Monoclonal Antibody treatment. Dr. Cook explains, “You have to meet certain criteria and those criteria are fairly easy to meet.” The treatment is designed for high risk covid patients with underlying conditions like diabetes or obesity, but the government has modified that to include those who are even a little overweight.

Katherine Wells, Director of the Lubbock Health Department says the clinic, operated by the Texas Department of Emergency Management, is giving about 70 infusions a day. She says, “It’s free. There’s absolutely no cost to get the infusion. However, you want to get it early on, very close to your diagnosis.”

Dr. Scott Frankfather said today that in his hometown of Denver City, Monoclonal Antibody treatment is saving lives there too. But even without that, there are things you can do to treat a Covid diagnosis... if you remember these three words.

He says, “Seek care quickly. There are things we can do to help with steroids with IV viral treatments.”

He also emphasized the importance of building your immunity with a good diet, vitamin C and D and Zinc along with a healthy walk every day.

All on the panel emphasized the importance of staying in touch with your family doctor.

If you don’t have one, Katherine says don’t forget that the Health Department can also provide referrals for antibody treatment.

Sarah says it’s that early referral for an antibody infusion that has kept her family of four playing ball together.

Looking back, she remembers the day after getting the Monoclonal antibodies. She says, “I woke up significantly better. And every day after that was 10 times better than the one before. I definitely feel it was the antibody treatment that got us through it.”

This map from the Texas Department of Emergency Management shows all the infusion centers in Texas giving the monoclonal antibody treatment to covid patients. When you focus on the south plains, it is impressive all the rural medical centers that are providing this.

Denver City - Yoakum County Hospital

Brownfield - Brownfield Regional

Tahoka - Lynn County Hospital

Lamesa - Medical Arts Hospital

Littlefield - Lamb health care center

Lockney - Mangold Memorial Hospital

Dimmitt - Plains Memorial Hospital

Hereford - Hereford Regional Medical Center

Plainview - Covenant Hospital

Levelland – Covenant Hospital

Here’s what you need to know.

The only infusion center in Lubbock is at the TDEM clinic at 50th and University Avenue. It’s a simple process.

you sit in a chair for 2 hours: an hour for the infusion, an hour for the observation.

And even though the supply is great, there just aren’t enough chairs. Only about 30 in Lubbock, which is why they can only do about 75 a day here.

but Katherine Wells says more chairs are requested as interest grows.

And you can’t just walk in, you need a referral... through your doctor or from the health department.

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