The use of a fast-acting COVID-19 treatment for high-risk patients could increase in use if Coronavirus rates in the state continue to rise.
Sotrovimab is a treatment currently being used in Tasmania that mimics the way the immune system fights viruses. Patients requiring the monoclonal antibodies are treated intravenously with a 30-minute infusion of the drug.
The fast-acting treatment starts to fight COVID within hours by boosting the body's immune response and reducing the impact of the virus.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Tasmanian chairman Dr Tim Jackson said the treatment was currently being used in Tasmania for high-risk patients with comorbidities including obesity, heart disease, lung disease, asthma and elderly people over 60.
He said with most of Tasmania's positive cases being young people in relatively good health the use of the treatment was low, but said it could rise if the virus spread into high-risk groups.
"Because the cohort getting COVID at the moment is generally young, fit and healthy, there hasn't been a lot of use for it at the moment, but we'd expect that to increase."
READ MORE: Dog attack behind Tasmania penguin deaths
Devon Hills woman Radiance Strathdee suffers from persistent asthma which puts her in the high-risk bracket.
She said due to her existing health conditions she was constantly symptomatic and required to test for COVID about every 10 days.
Ms Strathdee said she was aware of sotrovimab as a treatment but had struggled to find information about where and how to access the treatment if required.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Tony Lawler said Tasmania had a supply of sotrovimab allocated from the national medical stockpile.
Professor Lawler said sotrovimab was available and being administered in hospitals across the state through outpatient clinics.
Dr Jackson said the treatment needed to be administered within the first five days of patients contracting COVID-19 to produce positive results, clarifying it was an additional treatment for some patients, not a cure.
He said people who tested positive for COVID-19 and were in a high-risk category should opt into the COVID@home program to be monitored.
"If you have any risk factors or you're older, you really should tick the box to join COVID@home because then you get closer monitoring," he said.
"When they assess you, they look for these risk factors and if you have those risk factors, then they can refer you off to the infectious disease physicians to have the treatment."
Andrew Chounding is The Examiner's Health Reporter, if you have a health-related story please email Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Follow us on Google News: The Examiner