LIVINGSTON, Texas (KTRE) – A state-run regional infusion center to help treat patients with COVID-19 opened Monday in Polk County. The center is located at Dunbar Gym in Livingston.
Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy said the infusion treatments are extremely necessary. She said at this time there are just over 600 cases in Polk County and 195 new cases in the last seven days.
“Part of the reason we need this infusion center in Polk County is because we have had a rise in cases even though there are some areas of the state where they’re trending downward, that is not the case in our area, and that is not the case of our trauma center areas either,” Murphy said.
Dr. Nagakrishnal Nachimuthu, an Infection Disease Physician at CHI St Luke’s, said that eligible patients must be symptomatic and early within their symptoms. The patients qualify if their symptoms are mild to moderate. They can obtain the treatment for free.
“We are seeing a lot of inpatients with COVID-19 and once they are in the hospital they almost always require a lot of oxygen requirements and sometimes they end up intubated, needing invasive antihalation and things like that. So monoclonal antibody therapy, what we’ve seen is it prevents these hospitalizations and alleviates the burden for the health care system,” Nachimuthu said.
But Nachimuthu reminds the public that monoclonal antibody treatments should not be a residents first plan of action
“More importantly, I would say monoclonal antibody treatment does not replace vaccinations. So vaccination is the best prevention strategy, but once you get COVID then, yes, monoclonal antibody therapy,” Nachimuthu said.
The new infusion center will help to reduce hospitalizations and alleviate the pressure on hospitals.
Judge Murphy said these treatments allow positive patients a way to plateau the disease and move forward in the healing process.
Written by Brianna Linn