Bamlanivimab antibody treatment (Source: UofL Health)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- UofL Health is touting its use of an antibody treatment to help those who have tested positive for COVID-19 avoid serious illness.

Jerry Harden, a Spencer County man, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in December. Fearing that his diabetes could complicate the disease progression, his doctor recommended a new treatment.

It's called a bamlanivimab antibody infusion. Just hours after receiving it, Harden said his illness turned around. 

"You sit there for an hour just to make sure you don't have any side effects," Harden said. "That next morning I woke up and just waking up my head was out of the fog. It's hard to explain what it does to you but I knew even before I got up that I was feeling a lot better."

The treatment, given through an IV drip, uses antibodies to target the spike protein on COVID-19 particles.

"The early studies showed that the viral load, especially by day 11, if you give it early enough was decreased, which is why it did help decrease hospitalizations and progression of disease," said Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor with UofL Health.

Doctors said those who test positive for the virus should ask their primary care physician if they are eligible for the treatment.

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