UVA doctor discusses new treatment options for COVID-19

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2021, file photo, a registered nurse holds the hand of a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. An advocacy group for seniors has filed a civil rights complaint against Idaho over the state's "crisis standards of care" guidelines for hospitals overwhelmed during the coronavirus pandemic. Justice in Aging wants the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate Idaho's health care rationing plan, contending that it discriminates against older adults by using factors like age in prioritizing which patients may get access to life-saving care. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File) (Kyle Green, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – At UVA Medical Center, there are a lot of medications and treatments that are being repurposed to help treat people with COVID-19.

“For patients who are still outpatients - are not in the hospital - the monoclonal antibody therapies are really the cornerstone of what we haven’t been using those in quite a bit,” Dr. Patrick Jackson said.

According to Jackson, there are three antiviral monoclonal antibody drugs authorized for use in the United State to keep the virus from infecting new cells.

“For patients in the hospital, steroids like dexamethasone have really been a mainstay of treatment and there’s an antiviral drug called Remdesivir that may be helpful for some patients, and then some additional medications that modulate the immune system,” Jackson said.

Despite these treatments, Jackson says the best thing out there right now are the COVID-19 vaccines.

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