ODESSA, Texas — Remdesivir is no magic bullet, but it does seem to help those with COVID-19 recover faster.
Medical Center Hospital is excited to get its hands on it this week.
“We lead the way with plasma therapy in Ector County," Timothy Benton, MCH Vice Chief of Staff and interim Chief Medical Officer said. "It's exciting from a science standpoint for us to learn and show that our physicians are progressive in something new that we don’t know anything about.”
Remdesivir is in high demand across the country.
The government sent 30 cases of the Remdesivir to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The state chose Medical Center Hospital as one of 15 hospitals in Texas to get the drug.
“I would suspect that Medical Center was chosen because we are a large referral center for a large portion of West Texas," Benton said. "If an outbreak happens we would get the more severe patients here.”
While Remdesivir is not a cure, it has shown to slow down the virus from wreaking havoc on the body.
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“It is still investigational, a little bit experimental," Benton said. "What the medication does is slow the multiplication of the virus."
Dr. Benton says the effects are similar to when someone with the flu is given Tamiflu.
“Tamiflu and those drugs you’ve heard of that are given with influenza, they do not stop the flu," Benton said. "But they shorten the course of the flu.”
Again, the drug is not a cure, it can just speed up recovery.
Medical Center Hospital does not know exactly how many people they will be able to treat with Remdesivir.
They also do not know if the hospital will be able to share the drug with Midland Memorial Hospital.