As we navigate the novel Coronavirus pandemic, there is one thing that we know for sure: There are a-symptomatic individuals (infected people who show no symptoms) walking around.
The COVID-19 Antibody Test will help us to determine the number of a-symptomatic people; positive individuals who have had symptoms; as well as individuals who have not been infected and remain susceptible.
How is the new COVID-19 Antibody Test different?
This test, recently released by LabCorp and Quest, is vastly different than the previously (and still) available test, which measures the presence of viral RNA protein by a nasopharyngeal swab and helps diagnose an active infection. The new test takes a small sample of blood and measures antibodies to the virus that are formed upon exposure to the virus. The best time to look for these antibodies is 2 weeks or more after the illness. Results are expected in 2-3 days.
What do the COVID-19 Antibody Test results mean? The results will be very instrumental in determining how individuals, communities, states, and our country moves forward. Individuals will know if they carry the antibodies, meaning that they’ve been infected (even if they never felt sick). We don’t know yet if the antibodies make us immune or for how long it lasts. But testing as many people as possible for the presence of antibodies and then following them to see if reinfection occurs is the way we find out. Scientists tell us that we should have a good idea if antibodies give us immunity in 2 months of study. Once we know this information, we may be able to get back to work faster, which will greatly impact the economy. Additionally, our healthcare system can better prepare for the next wave. Of course, this does not negate our need to abide by social distancing and good hygiene in our efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
If I show positive for antibodies, how long am I immune and can I get it a second time? This is a new virus, and as such, we are not certain how long the immunity will last. At this point, the Antibody Test is unable to answer these questions. However, getting the antibody test will allow scientists to figure this out and then you’ll know if you’re immune! Again, this process has been estimated to take 2 months of study.
How can I get the COVID-19 antibody test? The test is best ordered by a physician. Schedule a telehealth visit with us at 610-415-1100 to see if the antibody test is right for you!
For additional regarding COVID-19 information, visit our YouTube Channel.