JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — As COVID-19 cases in Onslow County continue to surge, Onslow Memorial Hospital is now offering a new treatment option for those who test positive.
Hospital officials say if they can decrease the number of people in the hospital, it allows them to have the right treatment options for everyone else.
“We know our hospitals are overwhelmed right now, especially in the eastern Carolina region with COVID-19 patients,” said Chief Medical Officer for Onslow Memorial Hospital Dr. Steven Spencer.
“The monoclonal antibody really halts the progression of the disease, it really allows your body to really play catch up, really get a clear handle on the disease in the viruses, and clear them as quickly as possible,” Spencer said.
He also said the monoclonal antibodies need to be delivered within the first few days of infection.
“It’s really important that we get these monoclonal antibodies to folks as quickly as possible, especially those folks who are at risk,” Spencer said.
Onslow Memorial Hospital began using this therapy last week. Health officials there said they hope it will end up benefiting the entire population as a whole.
As of Monday, the county had a 16.2% positivity rate, which is several points above the state average.
“This is really important for us to provide this service for the community again because our community is really suffering from this recent surge of COVID-19,” said Spencer.
State pharmacist Dr. Amanda Fuller Moore said it’s important for people to know this is not a substitute for vaccination. She also reminds people that this is currently the only approved outpatient treatment for COVID-19.
“We do still want people to continue to go out and get their COVID-19 vaccine. But monoclonal antibodies are an excellent option for people who do test positive,” said Fuller Moore.