In case you were wondering, antibody testing is becoming quite popular during the Covid-19 Pandemic as scientists and pharmaceutical companies are rushing to find a vaccine. As we move forward in this mission to stop this disease, states are now opening up antibody testing centers to try to identify individuals who have the antibodies (Proteins) that can help fight off infections. In this post, we will provide additional details about this testing and how it could benefit you and/or your family.

What is Antibody Testing?

Photo courtesy of WebMd.com

Photo courtesy of WebMd.com

According to the CDC.gov website (Centers for Disease Control), Antibody Testing checks your blood by trying to identify antibodies (show if you had a previous infection with the virus). Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose someone as being currently sick with COVID-19.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the test may not find antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection. 

Below are some specifics about testing (brought to you by the MayoClinic.org Website):

  • A test to diagnose COVID-19 determines whether you are actively infected and have the disease. The most common test involves inserting a swab up the nose to take a sample of fluid for testing. Sometimes a throat swab is done instead.
  • COVID-19 saliva test, recently approved by the FDA, is less risky for the health care worker to collect the sample. The person spits into a plastic tube several times and hands the tube back to the health care worker.
  • The FDA approved one at-home nasal swab kit. After a doctor approves testing as medically appropriate, the person sends the self-collected sample to a lab for testing. With limited kits available at this time, health care workers and first responders get priority. The FDA warns consumers against buying unapproved home tests, because they may be inaccurate and unsafe.

What Happens If I Test Positive?

Based on information from the CDC.gov website,  a positive test result shows you have antibodies likely resulting from an infection with SARS-CoV-2, or related coronavirus. However, they say it’s unclear if those antibodies provide immunity against getting infected again. They also go on to say that it is possible you might test positive for antibodies and you might not have or have ever had symptoms of COVID-19. This is known as having an asymptomatic infection, or an infection without symptoms.

Bottomline: The CDC does not currently know if antibodies make you immune to the virus.

Below is an informative Video on Coronavirus (Covid-19) Testing

DISCLAIMER: HCBS Provider does not endorse the medical information provided by the CDC and Mayo Clinic.

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