Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price was back at work at city hall Monday after a two-week bout with COVID-19 during which she received a brand new treatment.
"I appreciate everybody's thoughts and prayers,” she said in an afternoon news conference. “The outreach was incredible."
She fell ill on Nov. 15 -- one day after her husband Tom contracted the virus. His symptoms were mild and he also has fully recovered, she said.
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"For about 48 hours I had what I would consider severe flu-like symptoms with a high fever, a little cough, just chills and body aches,” she said.
Price said her doctor told her she was a good candidate for a new treatment – an infusion of manufactured antibodies.
"And literally, it's an incredible treatment,” she said. “Within a few hours I felt a whole lot better."
The mayor is among the first patients in North Texas to get the intravenous infusion, successfully tested by Baylor Scott & White in a clinical trial over the last few months.
It's called Bamlanivimab and is manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company, the pharmaceutical firm based in Indianapolis.
"The treatment takes about an hour-and-a-half and an hour of monitoring,” Price said. “By the next day I noticed my fever was gone, my cough was significantly less. And I just felt better than I had the two days prior to that."
She received the medicine on Nov. 17, just two days after her first symptoms.
The antibodies are made in a lab, designed to mimic those naturally produced, and attach to the virus in patients at the beginning of their illness. In effect, it boosts the body's own immune system.
One big benefit is that they can be mass produced.
"These antibodies, when infused, attack it just as if it were your own antibodies, so it's a very unique treatment,” said Mike Sanborn, president of Baylor All Saints.
Sanborn said his hospital had just received the drug and he spoke to a group of doctors about who would be good candidates – people over 65 who are just diagnosed.
The mayor’s doctor happened to be part of the group, he said.
"I was very pleased she was able to get it immediately after her positive test and that her outcome was so great,” Sanborn said.
The medicine is in limited supply now but will be more widely used in the future, he said.
The mayor, an avid fitness buff, said she’s already back at it.
"It's not going to stop me from cycling or running. I can tell you that,” she said.