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COVID-19 Antibody Test: What You Need to Know

Antibody tests can help to identify the disease carriers and check the spread of COVID-19. Knowing how many people have been infected, even if they didn’t have the symptoms, will help to better understand the spread of the virus.

An antibody is a protective protein produced by the immune system when it detects the presence of a foreign object called an antigen. 

Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 Antibody Testing:

What is an antibody test, and how does it work?

The antibody test detects whether the body has developed antibodies (proteins created as a response to infections). The presence of COVID-19 antibodies means that the person has been previously exposed to the virus. It is important to note that antibody tests do not detect if you are currently infected.

What does the test look for?

Antibody tests checks if the body has developed an immune response to the exposure of COVID-19. Anyone contracting the COVID-19 virus may not experience any symptoms immediately or in the future. However, their body generally produces the antibodies to fight the disease.

The human body takes 5-10 days to create antibodies after exposure to the virus. Testing centers typically ask patients to wait 7-8 days before testing for antibodies. Patients who have recovered or are not currently sick from a suspected Covid-19 infection are typically tested. If the test is conducted too soon, patients may have fewer antibodies in their blood and generate a negative result despite a COVID-19 infection.

Does a positive result mean you’re now immune?

WHO warned that there isn’t conclusive proof that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies ensure long-term immunity against future infections. Resistance to the common cold, also caused by another type of coronavirus, lasts a few months.

WHO and CDC have advised people to follow social distancing norms unless new, additional data is available. It is advised to speak with your healthcare provider about your testing results.

Are the antibody tests reliable?

Tests can generate a false negative and fail to detect antibodies if their count in the blood is too low or a false positive by identifying something else, e.g., other virus antibodies for a COVID-19 antibody. Please consult with a medical professional about your results.

Should you get one?

Antibody testing is usually recommended at least 7-10 days after exposure or infection. This type of serology testing, when combined with other patient information, can help to determine if a patient can return to normal, daily living. Please consult with a medical professional to determine if you require antibody testing.

MI Express Care provides comprehensive, affordable, and quality medical care to handle critical medical problems for all ages. We are still accepting regular appointments for all your urgent care needs.

For inquiries about antibody or molecular COVID-19 testing, please call us at 734-388-4999.

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