San Antonio

‘This is wonderful’: Why one San Antonio man says he felt better with COVID than without

More medical doctors are prescribing their sufferers the antiviral drug Paxlovid. An 88-year-old in San Antonio says it helped reduce signs from different sicknesses.

SAN ANTONIO — The antiviral drug Paxlovid is gaining recognition.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is taking the treatment now after contracting COVID-19.

President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci have been additionally prescribed the tablet.

The treatment fights the virus that causes COVID. It’s particularly used to deal with folks over 65 or these with underlying well being situations.

One San Antonio man is sharing his story that he says everybody wants to listen to.

88-year-old Richard Ortiz has a number of underlying well being situations and obtained his boosters to struggle COVID-19. Last month, he contracted the virus and took a medicine that he says modified his life.

RELATED: Jill Biden exams optimistic for COVID-19

He’s sharing his story with KENS 5 in hopes of saving a life.

“I did carving and all kinds of stuff like that when I was young.” 

Ortiz was a woodworker all his life. His career introduced him to San Antonio simply earlier than the arrival of John Paul II in 1987. Ortiz’s company restored the pews at San Fernando Cathedral.

“Then I worked with chemicals. Then I smoked. I thought I was a big shot,” mentioned Ortiz.

Ortiz has a historical past of sicknesses together with bronchial asthma and pulmonary fibrosis. He’s on oxygen 24/7 to assist him breathe.

“What they consider me now is terminal because there’s no cure, there’s no medication right now, there’s nothing,” he defined. “So I’m now on hospice.”

July 18, shortly after leaving the hospital for a lung an infection, Ortiz examined optimistic for COVID.

“[Health professionals] tell me if I were to ever get the COVID, it’s gonna be the end of me,” mentioned Ortiz.

The identical day, his physician prescribed him Paxlovid: an antiviral tablet you’re taking 3 times a day for 5 days.

“By 2 o’clock on the 18th I started taking it,” mentioned Ortiz. “By the 20th, I noticed a tremendous difference.”

He says his physician gave him two rounds of the treatment. He by no means went again to the hospital.

“I felt better those two weeks with the COVID than without the COVID. That sounds silly, but really I did,” he mentioned. “No aches, no nothing. Something is in that medication that helped me. So I said to myself, this is amazing. That’s the only thing I could attribute it to because I did nothing different.”

Ortiz says what’s most exceptional is signs from his different sicknesses improved, too.

“I just felt different,” he defined. “I felt good as if nothing was happening to me.”

Dr. Jason Bowling, Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases at UT Health San Antonio, says medical doctors are seeing spectacular turnarounds in sufferers’ signs on Paxlovid.

RELATED: US guidelines out summer season COVID boosters to give attention to fall marketing campaign

“It actually has about 89% success rate in keeping those patients that are at high risk from going to the hospital or dying in a month,” mentioned Bowling.

Bowling says Paxlovid helps forestall underlying sicknesses like coronary heart and lung illness from worsening. He says that might be why Mr. Ortiz felt better all-around.

“Some people have seen some pretty impressive turnarounds in their symptoms when they start taking the medicine,” mentioned Bowling.

Right now, folks over 65 or with underlying well being situations can take Paxlovid.

For others, Bowling says the very best various is getting vaccinated and boosted, for those who’re eligible.

Doctors say Paxlovid is being prescribed extra continuously and an ongoing research is researching whether or not to develop those that are eligible.

Along with the president and Dr. Fauci taking Paxlovid, in addition they had what are referred to as “rebound” circumstances. This means COVID signs returned they usually grew to become contagious once more.

RELATED: Biden exams unfavourable for COVID after uncommon rebound case, will isolate till 2nd take a look at confirms

Doctors say this occurs to much less than 10% of sufferers and the excellent news is even with a rebound of signs, folks nonetheless averted going to the hospital.

“You can see a little bit of bump in viral load again so they can be transmissible to others,” Bowling defined. “So it’s recommended that if you have a rebound of your COVID symptoms after you finish your Paxlovid, you should still isolate for five days because you could potentially transmit to others.”

Just to be protected, Bowling recommends Paxlovid sufferers keep masked 5 days after ending their treatment.

“If this can help someone else, if this can at least keep them from the hospital, keep them from pain, let’s go for it,” mentioned Ortiz, explaining his reasoning for doing an interview. “I’m not trying to produce anything or trying to sell anything, promote anything. It’s just my personal experience with this medication.”

Ortiz is very lively with his church in his free time. One of his weekly actions is attending Bible research at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church.

To see a map of take a look at and deal with facilities the place Paxlovid is accessible, go to

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