State, ND Medical Association backing 'monoclonal antibody' treatment for COVID-19 | Prairie Public Broadcasting

State, ND Medical Association backing 'monoclonal antibody' treatment for COVID-19

Jan 18, 2021

The state of North Dakota and the North Dakota Medical Association are encouraging people who have tested positive for COVID-19 – and are at high risk for serious complications – to look at whether new treatment options – such as monoclonal antibodies – are right for them.

"These new antibodies have really allowed us to take the fight to COVID, and hopefully keep people out of the hospital," said NDMA Vice-president Dr. Joshua Ranum. "WE're also hoping to keep people from having severe complications from the disease."

Ranum said this is an outpatient infusion treatment. And he said it works best if it’s given early on after the diagnosis.

"Nearlyt everyone has reported that they felt noticeably better the next day," Ranum said. "Not perfect, but noticeably better."

Ranum said these are very well-tolerated medications.

"If given early,  they can be significantly effective in reducing the severity of the illness."

One of the people who’s had the treatment is Sen. Raymon Holmberg (R-Grand Forks), who tested positive for COVID-19 last fall.

"Within two hours after my positive test, my doctor called me and recommended that we go down the road of this plasma infusion," Holmberg said.

And Holmberg said within 36 hours, he was receiving the infusion.

"For a few hours, it was interesting," Holmberg said. "The only time I had a fever was just right after I received that."

But Holmberg said within two days, all of the symptoms that he had, mostly extreme tiredness, were gone, and the only thing that lasted was a loss of taste, for probably a month," Holmberg said.

Holmberg said he would encourage people who are offered the option by their doctor to go through the treatment.