In response, Olmsted County Public Health Services, Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center are reminding the public of available approved treatments for the virus.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a single drug, remdesivir, to treat COVID-19, but the FDA can also issue emergency use authorizations to allow health care providers to use products that are not yet approved to treat patients with COVID-19.
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several at-home options to relieve symptoms and support a body’s natural defenses. They are:
Taking medications, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce fever.
Drinking water to stay hydrated.
Getting plenty of rest to help the body fight the virus.
A COVID-19 infection can cause some people to become more sick than others.
The CDC reports 52 Olmsted County residents were hospitalized with a confirmed COVID-19 infection in the seven-day period ending Saturday, with 14.45% of available intensive-care beds used.
To prevent serious illness from the virus, some health care providers are recommending at-risk patients receive an investigational treatment.
The FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorization for several monoclonal antibody treatments under investigation, and local health care providers decide whether a treatment is appropriate for each patient.
Health care providers can also use other treatments while caring for COVID-19 patients in the hospital. They include:
Antiviral medications to reduce the ability of the virus to multiply and spread through the body.
Authorized treatments to help reduce overactive immune responses in an individual.
Approved treatments for severely ill COVID-19 patients, such as blood thinners.
Health professionals are warning against the use of products not receiving federal approval for treatment of COVID, noting people have seriously harmed themselves and others have died after taking unapproved drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine phosphate and ivermectin.
Olmsted County Public Health reports it continues to follow CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidance for those sick, or think they might be sick, with COVID-19.
Anyone believing they are sick with COVID-19, is being encouraged to get tested right away and stay home unless medical attention is required.
The CDC reports 9,438 Olmsted County residents were tested for COVID-19 in the seven days through Oct. 17, with a 6.59% positivity rate, which was down slightly from the previous week but remains above the rate seen at this time last year.
The best way to avoid getting sick at all is to get vaccinated. Olmsted County has a completed vaccination rate of 81.2% among eligible residents.
Public health officials state the vaccine is highly effective against COVID-19 and dramatically reduces hospitalizations and death. Vaccines are widely available through medical providers and pharmacies. Anyone 12 and older can find vaccine availability at https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/locations/index.jsp.