West Point Teen Benefits from COVID Infusion Treatment
TUPELO, Miss.— Jeremiah Carter of West Point is back doing all the things a normal 17-year-old does after a recent bout with COVID-19, thanks in part to a relatively new treatment option.
Jeremiah, a junior at Oak Hill Academy in West Point, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in January. He was taken by his mother, Nina Head, to West Point Urgent Care after suffering from headaches, body aches, fatigue and eye pain. He tested positive for COVID-19 during his visit with family practice physician Jordan Steele, D.O.
The diagnosis was particularly troubling considering Carter also suffers from sickle cell anemia, diabetes and asthma, all conditions that can make the virus particularly harmful. Dr. Steele suggested Jeremiah undergo monoclonal antibody infusion treatment to help with his COVID-19 treatment.
“Dr. Steele said it was clear with Jeremiah’s history that his condition could turn bad and he suggested we go to Tupelo to do outpatient infusion,” Head said.
Antibodies are proteins that people's bodies make to fight viruses. Monoclonal antibodies are made in a laboratory and act a lot like natural antibodies to limit the amount of virus in a person’s body. Monoclonal antibody treatment with bamlanivimab or with casirivimab and imdevimab is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms. These treatments are allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization.
When Dr. Steele tried to refer Jeremiah for the infusion treatment, the order was refused because it wasn’t being given to people under 18 years of age. But with the help of Jeremiah’s regular doctor, Keith Watson, M.D., pediatrician at West Point Children’s Clinic, and Ned Miller, M.D., family practice physician at West Point Medical Clinic, Jeremiah was approved for the treatment and was one of the first given monoclonal antibody treatment at North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point.
Jeremiah responded well to his treatment right away, according to his mother.
“He said he felt much better after the infusion and he had way more energy,” Head said.
After his 10-day quarantine was up, Jeremiah returned to school and normal activities.
Monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 is offered by referral at NMMC locations in Tupelo, Amory, Eupora, Iuka and West Point, Mississippi, and Hamilton, Alabama.