COVID-19 Antibody Test
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What is a COVID-19 Antibodies test?
The COVID-19 antibody test is the primary alternative to the swab test and relies on a blood draw. This serology blood test indirectly detects possible exposure to the virus with a measurement of the body’s immune response and the presence of antibodies.
Antibodies are proteins that defend the body against a specific virus. Past or recent exposure to COVID-19 results in the production of immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies as part of the body’s immune response to the virus.
Another advantage of COVID-19 antibody testing is that it indicates exposure to COVID-19 as well as the production of antibodies. Even if a SARS-CoV-2 infection does not result in symptoms, COVID-19 antibody testing will be able to detect developed antibodies. So, if you had the coronavirus and recovered, an antibody test will detect that.
Common Questions and Answers:
Who Should Be Tested for the Coronavirus Disease?
If you tested positive for the coronavirus and fully recovered, you can undergo a COVID-19 antibody test. However, you should wait at least 14 days after your last test or after the onset of your symptoms.
If you didn't undergo prior testing, you should complete an antibody test under the following circumstances:
- You had symptoms that are typical of the coronavirus, and it has been 14 days since the onset of the symptoms.
- You don’t exhibit any symptoms, but you believe that you were exposed to the virus.
- If you don’t display any symptoms, and you had no contact with the virus, you should undergo two antibody tests, two weeks apart, with the first determining the baseline.
If you suspect that you may be positive for COVID-19, avoid high-risk individuals, including the elderly and the immunocompromised. In the case of severe symptoms, seek emergency medical care. Your local healthcare provider should have emergency use authorization to administer swab tests.
Who cannot be tested?
If you have the following symptoms of COVID-19, you are not a candidate for a COVID-19 antibody test, because antibodies will not be present during an active infection:
- Fever of 100.3F or higher
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms you should stay home, and immediately call your healthcare providers office to discuss your symptoms and next steps.
What is COVID-19?
Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was identified in Wuhan, China. The official name of this coronavirus is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. In other words, SARS-CoV-2 is to COVID-19 as HIV is to AIDS.
The name “corona” means “crown” in Latin. This group of viruses has projections on their surfaces that give them a crown-like appearance, hence the name.
SARS-CoV-2 is one of seven coronaviruses that affect humans. These viruses include:
- The first SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
- Human coronaviruses HKU1, 229E, NL63, and OC43
On March 11, 2020, after a 13-fold increase in COVID-19 cases outside China, the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the disease as a pandemic.
Should Pregnant Women be Tested for COVID-19?
Generally speaking, pregnant women are more susceptible to infections than women who are not pregnant. Currently, however, there is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women have a higher risk of contracting a COVID-19 disease than the general population.
If you suspect that you have COVID-19 because of the presence of symptoms or because you were in contact with someone who has the disease, the first step is to isolate yourself. Then, call your doctor and discuss your symptoms or concerns with them. Your doctor will then advise on whether you should test for the disease or not.
Is Coughing a Symptom of the Coronavirus Disease?
The coronavirus affects people in different ways, but most people who contract the disease will develop mild or moderate symptoms. A dry cough is one of the most common symptoms of this disease, along with fever, tiredness, and shortness of breath.
A dry cough if it produces no mucus or phlegm. Several health conditions can cause a dry cough, including bronchitis and allergies. If you have a dry cough along with other common COVID-19 symptoms, speak to your health care provider. If you previously had a dry cough, and it has been at least 14 days, you're a good candidate for an antibody test.
How is COVID-19 Treated?
Currently, there is no treatment available for a coronavirus infection. If your test results are positive for the disease and your symptoms are severe, you may need hospitalization. Treatment is supportive and includes the provision of oxygen and fever management.
Healthcare providers may also administer antibiotics to prevent the development of a secondary bacterial infection.
Who is Most at Risk for the Coronavirus Disease?
Anyone can contract the SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and asthma have a higher risk of becoming severely ill after infection.
When will I get my results back?
Most results are usually released 1 business day of your blood collection. In some cases, due to increased demand, turnaround times can take up to 3 business days.