State establishes Covid-19 antibody treatment wing at El Paso Convention Center makeshift hospital
EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the creation of a coronavirus antibody treatment infusion wing at the state-run makeshift hospital inside the El Paso Convention Center.
The alternate care site has been provided with 1,000 doses of bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody therapy created by Eli Lilly & Company.
“The establishment of the bamlanivimab infusion wing at El Paso’s alternate care site is crucial to keeping hospitalizations down and protecting at-risk Texans in the community,” Governor Abbott said in a news release. “I thank HHS for supporting our efforts by supplying the State of Texas with this shipment of bamlanivimab for the pilot program. We will continue to ensure that this life-saving antibody therapy is available for Texans who need it most.”
The bamlanivimab infusion wing began accepting patients today.
The therapy has been shown to prevent hospitalizations in some patients when used before they become very sick.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Armando Meza told ABC-7 these antibody treatments work similarly to a vaccine in the sense they provide antibodies against a virus.
“Antibody protection really happens at the early stages of the infection, so if you’re going to get this treatment, it’s going to have to be within the first few days of becomming symptomatic or infected,” said Dr. Armando Meza, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. “Only patients who are at particularly high risk of having severe complications will be the ones who will be given these antibodies.”
The convention center has been used to treat Covid patients with moderate to mild symptoms.
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