Tuscaloosa physician Dr. Ramesh Peramsetty is a provider of the COVID-19 monoclonal treatment in West Alabama.

The monoclonal treatment is an antibody treatment for COVID-19 that may block the virus from attaching to human cells, making it more difficult for it to reproduce and cause harm. The monoclonal antibodies may also neutralize the virus.

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One of Peramsetty’s patients, a 23-year-old male, confirmed quick improvement after receiving the monoclonal infusion. With ICU beds filling up in hospitals and COVID-19 cases projected to surge in the weeks ahead, doctors and Alabama health officials are looking to use this treatment to slow down hospitalizations.

Peramsetty said the treatment prevents hospitalization in about 70% of COVID-19 patients. However, there are some limitations. So the most effective ways to prevent COVID-19 are still to get vaccinated, continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance from non-household members, according to the doctor.

Eligibility for the monoclonal treatment is at the discretion of your doctor. Currently, the FDA has authorized treatments for mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients at high risk of progression to severe disease.

The FDA believes you are "high risk" if you:

  • Have a body mass index equal to or greater than 35,
  • Have chronic kidney diseases,
  • Are diabetic,
  • Live with immunosuppressive conditions,
  • Are older than 55,
  • Have heart disease,
  • Have hypertension,
  • Have asthma,
  • Have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or another chronic respiratory disease,
  • Are chronically dependent on certain drugs, and/or
  • Live with sickle cell disease

An average of 93 cases per day is being reported in Tuscaloosa County, a 30% increase from two weeks ago. DCH has 130 COVID inpatients, and among them, 27 are in the ICU and 16 are on ventilators.

Persmsetty reports the COVID-19 vaccine does not always prevent the virus, but it definitely reduces the severity for those infected. Fully or partially vaccinated people are more likely to have a milder or shorter illness, compared to those who are unvaccinated.

Listen to Peramsetty’s COVID-19 from 95.3 The Bear's Steve Shannon Morning Show Q&A below.

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