As the COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpass the 2 million mark, most Americans want to find out if they are immune to the novel coronavirus, which can be determined from an antibody test.
Right off the bat, the antibody test isn’t used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection because it can take 1–3 weeks for your body to make antibodies after you’re first exposed to the virus.
What Is The Antibody Test And Why Is It Important?
Also known as serology testing, antibody testing, measures the number of antibodies in your blood. Your body produces these antibodies to fight an infection.
For the coronavirus antibody test, a health care professional will takesome of your blood, either through a finger prick or by drawing blood from a vein in the arm, and look for one or both kind of virus-specific antibodies:
- IgM (immunoglobulin M) antibodies, which are made earlier in the infection period
- IgG (immunoglobulin G) antibodies, which are made after IgM and last much longer
While there can be variability in some cases, IgM is detectable after a week or two of the infection and last for weeks to months, whereas IgG is detectable after days to about a week after IgM and lasts for decades.
By looking at the amount of antibodies in the blood, doctors can determine when the patient had the infection, or whether they may still have the infection.
What Happens If Your Test Comes Back Positive? Does That Mean you’re Immune?
You’ll be notified of your results within a couple of days of taking the test. A positive result means that COVID-19 antibodies were found in your blood,indicate you have been exposed to the coronavirus but not necessarily the COVID19. Unfortunately, scientists still don’t know whether a positive test means that you’re immune to the COVID-19 infection or how long yourimmunity may last. Ongoing studies will eventually reveal more information.
There have been reports of people getting re-infected with the novel coronavirus. Therefore, you still need to follow proper hygiene and social distancing measures, even if you’ve previously recovered from the virus.
How Can Antibody Testing Help Reduce The Spread Of COVID-19?
When more COVID-19 antigen testing are available for the public, those who have the symptoms and test positive can get proper care earlier and self-isolation can be started sooner to curb the spread of the virus.
COVID1-19 antibody tests give health officials a better idea of the number of infected and recovered individuals.
Urgent Care Hawaii Ramps Up Antibody Testing
As Hawaii considers reopening the economy, antibody tests may be the key to learning how far the novel coronavirus has spread in Hawaii, and how soon people can get back to their jobs.
Urgent Care Hawaii was one of the first private facilities in the state to offer drive-through COVID-19 antibody testing. In addition to coronavirus testing and OCC Meds, Urgent Care Hawaii also offers telemedicine services, offering remote medical diagnosis and evaluations through video consultations with specialists.
Donna Schmidt, CEO and founder of Urgent Care Hawaii, stated, “Virtual healthcare protects both patients and healthcare workers from unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus, which is our biggest concern right now. With real-time urgent care consultations, our patients’ can address their health issues from the safety of their homes!”
Our aim is to always be one step ahead when it comes to Island Urgent Care. Call us at 808.456.CARE (2273) today.