Unity Health using new antibody treatment for COVID-19

Local News

SEARCY, Ark. – Unity Health is using a new antibody treatment for COVID-19. It’s a monoclonal antibody treatment. They administered the first dose last week.

One positive COVID-19 test, typically leads to at least one more. The second Mark Frisbie’s son was diagnosed wtih the Coronavirus, he knew he was next.

“Guess what I started showing symptoms of COVID,” Frisbie said.

Frisbie’s symptoms started off pretty mild.

“Fever, some body aches, the chills, some congestion. In the back of my mind I knew that if it gets any worse I might have to go to the hospital,” Frisbie said.

That’s why when he was approached by Unity Health to try an experimental treatment he jumped at the chance.

“I said ‘sure, love to,’” Frisbie said.

It’s a monoclonal antibody treatment that was recently given emergency use authorization by the FDA. The next say, Frisbie went in the hospital for his treatment.

“They put an IV into my arm and they had the fluid in for about two hours going through,” Frisbie said.

That night, Frisbie didn’t notice much of a difference, but the next morning he woke up and felt significantly better.

“And the day after that I just felt better and better,” Frisbie said.

He was the first patient at Unity Health and it was a success. 

“The monoclonal antibody is something we’ve been looking for for months as a treatment,” Unity Health Chief Medical Officer Roddy Lochala said.

Lochala said it’s now been used several times and so far so good.

“I don’t think any of them have required hospitalization and that’s the whole point of the treatment is to lessen the severe outcomes,” Lochala said.

For Frisbie, he fully recovered just days later and is grateful to be patient number one.

“If this treatment is available to someone who needs it, I would recommend them to do it,” Frisbie said. 

Lochala said to qualify for the treatment you need to be 65 and over or 55 and over with comorbid conditions.

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