Local health officials talk about COVID-19 and treatment

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — At the City of Amarillo’s Wednesday COVID-19 briefing, health officials spoke about COVID-19 treatments and how a new treatment could be seen in the first quarter of 2022.

While COVID-19 numbers have somewhat gone down in the area, BSA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Lamanteer, warned that the change has not been dramatic.

He urged cautious strategies such as masking and vaccination to protect from the virus. Dr. Lamanteer added that when it comes to treating symptoms of COVID-19, it’s supportive care.

“It’s the things that we do to treat the aches and the pains and some of the symptoms of shortness of breath like oxygen, like patients that are low on their oxygen levels. Those are the mainstays of our therapies,” said Dr. Lamanteer.

He also talked about the promise of a new oral antiviral pill being developed by Merck that started phase three in September to treat someone who is in the early stages of the disease.

“That drug, in preliminary studies, appears to have good activity against covid-19 and the question is, will this be available under a EUA, Early Use Authorization, just like the other medications that we’ve had available at this point by Q1 of early 22. It does not supplant the need for vaccination, which is the most effective way to prevent infection,” added Dr. Lamanteer.

Dr.Lamanteer said it’s important to also get your flu shot this season.

“Make sure you get your flu shots. Protecting yourself against the flu is another way of protecting yourself against the co-infection where you get COVID-19 and the flu, which would not be a good scenario,” said Dr. Lamanteer.

Dr. Lamanteer said if you are still apprehensive to get the COVID-19 vaccine, you can go to reliable sources like the NIH or the CDC to see what your best protection is.

City of Amarillo officials continued to encourage all members of the community to get vaccinated.

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