Because of the rapidly changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are left wondering what treatments are currently available. Below is an update on the status of Covid-19 in Riverside County along with a summary of various treatment options currently available.
Vaccination Status - Riverside County has made excellent progress regarding vaccination. To date approximately 2,982,726 doses of Covid vaccine have been administered and over 70% of those over age, 65 are now fully vaccinated. Overall, 58% of all Riverside County Residents have received at least one dose of vaccine and approximately 51% of all residents are fully vaccinated.
Vaccination Boosters - the CDC now recommends that certain people receive booster shots of the various COvid-19 vaccines including the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson vaccine after 6 months. The following groups listed below are eligible to receive boosters and the FDA has recently approved the option to mix and match the various vaccines. As always, please consult with your physician to see if taking a booster dose is right for you.
- 65 years and older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical issues
- Age 18+ who live in high risk settings
- Age 18+ who work in high risk settings
Covid-19 Cases - Covid-19 cases have been steadily declining in Riverside County for the past eight weeks, current hospitalization, and ICU cases have steadily been dropping since mid-August as well.
Covid-19 Deaths - Since the peek of the pandemic in January of 2021, Covid 19 deaths in Riverside County have been trending downward. The Riverside County death rate has dropped for the fifth consecutive week and remains very low.
Covid-19 Treatments - The best time to discuss treatment options for Covid-19 with your healthcare provider is before your become infected. If you feel you may have Covid-19 or have been exposed to someone who is infected contact your healthcare provider immediately. Although vaccinations have played a significant role in reducing the number of Covid-19 infections, no vaccine is 100% effective and we are now seeing reports of fully vaccinated patients who still develop Covid-19.
Many patients who become infected with Covid-19 will have only mild to moderate flu-like symptoms lasting 1-2 weeks and will not require hospitalization. The overall recovery rate for Covid-19 is between 97% to 99.75%.
The most likely to become seriously ill and require hospitalization are those over the age of 65 the those with pre-existing medical conditions. For those patients who are at higher risk for complications, there are several FDA approved treatments available at this time. These treatments have received emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and they have been shown to reduce the risk of serious complications. Each of the current treatment options described below require prompt consultation with a physician and several require hospitalization.
Monoclonal Antibodies The FDA has issued and EUA for outpatient treatment with monoclonal antibodies for patients who test positive for Covid-19 and are at high risk of complications. These medications can be given via an infusion in an outpatient testing and are most effective if given early in the course of infection. To find our if you are a candidate for monoclonal antibody treatments, I recommend that you discuss this option with your healthcare provider before you are infected. To learn more about the availability of Monoclonal antibody therapy in Riverside County please see the following link to a recent article about a new Riverside County Treatment Center providing this therapy: https://patch.com/california/temecula/new-covid-19-treatment-center-opens-riverside-county.
FDA Approved Treatments There are currently 11 treatments with FDA Emergency Use Authorization including treatments such as convalescent plasma, Remdesivir and Baricitinib but these treatments are reserved for hospitalized patients only. Many clinical trials are currently underway to investigate other potential treatments.
Other Treatments There are numerous other medications such as dexamethasone and ivermectin, which have been used for decades to treat other medical conditions and are now being used by some physicians to treat Covid-19. Some of these treatments have shown potential benefits in a limited clinical studies but the results are inconclusive and the current FDA position on ivermectin is that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19. You should discuss any questions you have about these treatments with your physicians.
In closing, most patients who become infected with Covid-19 will not require hospitalization and can be expected to fully recover. If you are over 65 or in a high-risk group for complications related to Covid-19 infection, I encourage you to consult with your physician in advance to determine which of the available treatment options would be best for you. Of course, please contact your physician immediately if you develop any signs or symptoms of Covid-19.