FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward Health Medical Center is offering early treatment to young patients if they contract COVID-19.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, doctors said they are increasing treatment efforts as the delta variant is different.

“This is the unknown,” said Broward Health Medical Director Venu Devabhaktuni.

Patients as young as a year and a half are being treated in hospitals as the virus continues to spread. Teens ages 13 to 17, who are old enough to receive the vaccine, are part of the majority of patients in hospitals.

Doctors said none of the patients in the intensive care unit are vaccinated.

“These children are diagnosed with COVID at our urgent care centers and emergency room with milder symptoms,” Devabhaktuni said.

As the days progress, however, children are getting sicker. This new treatment could change that.

“They actually target the spike protein of the virus and reduce the virus in someone infected with COVID-19,” said Broward Health Medical Director Aldo Calvo.

Florida’s COVID dashboard showed 216 children are battling the virus in hospitals. Of those, 18 are in the Broward Health Pediatric Unit.

“This seems to be coming fast and furious,” Calvo said. “They are coming sicker.”

Doctors said the new antibody treatment is not what they are giving their sicker patients. They said it works best during a short window of time before symptoms grow severe.

“When we look at the CAT scans of these children, I have never seen that extensive pneumonia in any condition before,” Devabhaktuni said.

Doctors said catching COVID early is key for children to be able to get this treatment. Children ages 12 and older can receive the treatment if the virus is caught early enough.

For more information about Broward Health’s antibody treatment, click here.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox