TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said a COVID-19 treatment drug is on the way to hospitals across the state, including Tulsa.
An experiment shows Remdesivir lessens symptoms from the virus.
“Remdesivir is really starting to show promising signs. It’s helping people," Gov. Stitt said.
Dr. Mousumi Som with Oklahoma State University Medical Center said the treatment drug was approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration in April.
An experiment published by the New England Journal of Medicine shows Remdesivir shortens the time to recovery in COVID-19 patients.
Findings from the experiment show it took the group administered Remdesivir an average of 11 days to get over their COVID symptoms. The group given a placebo felt the symptoms fade away after 15 days.
"That’s a big deal when you’re a patient who’s suffering from COVID-19," Dr. Som said.
A priest in Enid, Oklahoma tells 2 Works for You the drug made all the difference for him.
“I’m sure those drugs did get me over the hump," Fr. Mark Mason said.
In June, Mason said he felt extreme chills one night while sipping warm tea.
“I was chilling so bad, I asked this person, I said, ‘You better come and see what’s happening,'" he said.
After a rush to the emergency room, Mason tested positive for coronavirus.
Mason told 2 Works for You he was sent home with mild COVID-19 symptoms. He said 10 days later his condition turned severe.
“I went to the emergency room and they put me in the hospital right away," Mason said.
The priest spent the next 15 days at Integris Medical Center, half of those days he spent in the intensive care unit.
After two days he said he struggled to breathe and his doctors were considered a last-ditch effort to get air in his lungs.
“One of the pulmonary specialists had called me and said, ‘I’m going to bring you a cup of coffee in the morning.’ She never brought the coffee. She came with the intention of putting me on a ventilator," Mason said.
Instead, doctors tried an IV treatment of a drug cocktail of steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, and Remdesivir.
Remdesivir worked for Mason, however, research shows it does not always help patients in critical COVID-19 condition like those on breathing ventilators.
Mason said he is nearly fully-recovered now except he still has a problem with his sense of smell.
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