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Man says monoclonal antibody infusion helped keep him out of the hospital

“If I did not get the infusion it could have changed the outcome.”
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:39 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - After testing positive for COVID-19, an at risk man said he believes the monoclonal antibody infusion helped keep him out of the hospital.

“If I did not get the infusion it could have changed the outcome.” said Mehrdad Afsharmehr, an operations manager for an Altru pharmacy.

He said he and his wife took precautions like getting vaccinated and masking up to keep them from catching COVID-19, but on august 17...

“It was not just a regular simple cough. I coughed and my chest was hurt.” said Afsharmehr.

The same day his symptoms started he tested positive for the virus, and that day he says his doctor ordered for him to an infusion of monoclonal antibodies two days later.

Anyone over 12 years old with underlying health conditions like obesity, asthma, or diabetes who are positive for covid-19 with mild to moderate symptoms qualify to receive the treatment. People 65 and older automatically qualify.

Since Afshrmehr is 61-years-old and diabetic he qualified for the treatment. He said it was a simple infusion that lasted a couple of hours.

“Like the next day.. I didn’t cough anymore...” said Afshremhr, “Very seldom was I coughing.”

He said he believes being vaccinated and receiving the infusion made his infection much more manageable.

“Considering how devastating COVID can be, I think these infusions give at least the opportunity to some people to not be hospitalized.” said Afshremhr.

The health department says the sooner people who are COVID-19 positive get the monoclonal antibody infusion, the more beneficial the treatment will be at preventing hospitalization.

The treatment is free since the federal government distributed the antibody supplies at no cost to the patients, but some hospitals may charge an administration fee.

Since November 2020, Altru in Grand Forks has administered 177 antibody treatments to as many as five patients a day.

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