Should you get one and what does the result actually mean????
Concerns about Covid-19 are everywhere and we now know that many people can have the virus and have no symptoms. There is a lot of talk about antibody testing for Covid-19 these days. An antibody test is NOT a test to tell you if you actively have the virus, it tells you if you have already had it; meaning, you have been exposed and your body’s immune system has formed antibodies to fight it. Over the past few months, many people had symptoms of the virus but could not get tested for a proper diagnosis while others had no symptoms and could have already had it! If you wonder if you had the virus and were able to fight it off successfully, this is the test for you
- There are 2 types of antibodies tested: IgM, which develop early in the infection and IgG which show up much later
- Current antibody tests cannot tell if you are completely immune to this virus
- Current studies are ongoing to see how antibodies in plasma donated by people who have recovered could potentially help those who are currently sick with this virus
- Like any other test, there is potential for a false result. For example, a patient may have a test too soon after having the virus and test negative at that point
If you are concerned you may have had the virus and want to know if you have antibodies, contact your provider to discuss having this simple blood test drawn