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Georgia Dept. of Public Heath distributes remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19

The state agency has received its initial allotment of the antiviral drug from the federal government, enough to treat about 110 patients.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Public Health said they are distributing an initial allotment of the drug remdesivir received from the federal government to treat COVID-19.

The drug is an antiviral used by patients hospitalized with serious symptoms caused by COVID-19 including low oxygen levels and pneumonia.

According to DPH, the drug has been shown to shorten the duration of the disease in patients being treated in inpatient hospital settings.

The DPH says remdesivir is administered intravenously and decreases the amount of coronavirus in the body, which allows patients to recover more rapidly.

The distribution plan for remdesivir in Georgia was developed by DPH leadership, including district health directors and emergency preparedness staff, in accordance with FDA guidelines for its use.

RELATED: Georgia gets first shipment of COVID-19 treatment drug Remdesivir from federal government

Georgia's initial shipment is of 30 cases, with 40 vials per case, or enough to treat about 110 patients, depending on the duration of treatment.

The following hospitals will be receiving remdesivir: Tift Regional Medical Center, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Grady Health System, Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Augusta University Medical Center.

RELATED: Real-time updates | Coronavirus in Georgia

“DPH is pleased to have the opportunity to share this promising treatment with hospitals on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey.

The state has received a second, much larger allotment of remdesivir. DPH is surveying hospitals statewide to determine the need and will distribute that allotment next week.

RELATED: VERIFY: What is remdesivir?

Remdesivir has not been approved by the FDA for widespread use because it is considered investigational and still being studied. It was initially developed for use against Ebola.

Clinical trials for the drug were initially done in Georgia at Emory University Hospital. 

RELATED: Tracking COVID-19: Georgia Coronavirus Interactive map

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 

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