RAYNE, La. (KLFY) — Treatment for Coronavirus patients is becoming more widely available in Acadiana. To supplement hospitals’ capacity to administer life-saving COVID-19 treatment, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is opening two monoclonal antibody infusion (mAbs) sites in every region.
“This is essentially a patch to try to help us get through this really dangerous surge,” explained Dr. Tina Stefanski, LDH Region 4 Health Director.
LDH’s first mAbs site is open seven days a week from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M., and its goal is to treat 150 people a day if necessary. The Rayne’s Civic Center’s Ballroom has a 90-day rental agreement with LDH according to the city government.
Dr. Stefanski said, “We knew that was a site that has easy access. It’s right off of the interstate, so it was really one of the sites that was at the top of our list.”
The medical director stated demand for the infusion was at its highest a month ago in the peak of the fourth surge. Some people had to wait several days for the treatment most effective if taken early on.
“They’ve been so highly effective in preventing hospitalizations and severe outcomes and have been shown to also shorten the course of illness,” Stefanski added.
To be considered high risk you must be 65 or older, pregnant, or have one of many preexisting conditions.
Dr. Stefanski’s latest data suggested 70% of high risk COVID patients treated with the infusion have evaded poor outcomes from the virus, but she stresses there is an even better medical solution available to almost everyone.
“It really does concern me. I think people hear about these treatments and using that as an excuse perhaps to think that they don’t need to be vaccinated. We want people to realize that is better for your health to not get COVID in the first place,” Stefanski urged.
The Louisiana Department of Health told News 10 they hope to open their second antibody infusion site in Lafayette next week. If you are high risk and did test positive for COVID-19 recently, reach out to your medical provider. They can refer you for free treatment at one of LDH’s sites.