Surge of Covid-19 cases leaves Florida hospital system stretched for antiviral drug

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Miami’s Jackson Health System is running out of a key drug for fighting Covid-19 because of a surge in cases, hospital officials said Wednesday.

The nonprofit hospital group paused elective surgery Wednesday because of the onslaught of cases and Jackson Health System’s head of infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship, Lilian Abbo, said stocks of remdesivir were running low.

“This is one of the few drugs that has shown some efficacy,” Abbo said at a news conference. “And if we run out of this treatment, it could be fatal for people.”

Some context: Remdesivir is the only antiviral that has US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for coronavirus treatment. An average course of the infused drug requires six vials. The Florida hospital system has enough remdesivir to complete the treatment course for current patients, Abbo said.

“If we get to the point where the cases continue to double every two weeks, like what we’re seeing now, then we need to make sure that we have enough drug allocated,” Abbo said.

Hospital administrators are hoping to get more supplies later in the week, Abbo said.

Abbo urged the public to be proactive in mitigating Covid-19’s spread in Florida.

“The battle against Covid-19 cannot be only fought inside the hospital,” Abbo said. “This battle has to be conquered with every person taking action in the community.”

CNN

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