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Tested positive for COVID? An antibody treatment could keep you out of the hospital

Monoclonal antibodies are given through an IV after diagnosis and can shorten your symptoms.

TAMPA, Fla. — As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to spike in Florida, it's important that you know about a treatment that can help you feel better faster and even avoid a hospital stay. 

It's called monoclonal antibody treatment. It is an outpatient treatment given through an IV and it only takes a few hours. The treatment is now more readily available and if given quickly enough, it can even save your life. 

"It shortens the duration of the symptoms. It makes it much less likely that you're going to get severe disease and it definitely works in keeping people out of the hospital." Dr. Kami Kim is the Division Director of Infectious Diseases & International Medicine at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. 

She says the monoclonal antibodies neutralize the virus. So, if you think you might have COVID-19, get tested right away. 

"We want people to get diagnosed early so they can get the monoclonal antibody early so they don't have to be admitted to the hospital."

Right now, the outpatient procedure is still under Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, however, Dr. Kim says it's safe. 

"I understand that people are anxious and worried and I get that, but they shouldn't feel like this was rushed out. This was done rapidly because this was an international health care emergency."

Dr. Kim says this is the same treatment former President Trump received when he had COVID-19. Again, it is best to get the treatment within the first week of your diagnosis. If you do test positive, call your doctor right away to discuss if monoclonal antibodies would be a good option for you.