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One-stop guide to Corona Antibody testing!Thursday August 13, 2020 at 7:09 pm
Corona term is such havoc for people that anything related to this creates anxiety! COVID-19 Antibody testing is a blood test to determine if you had prior existence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in you. It’s the virus name that gave rise to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. The serology test is another name for antibody testing. But this test cannot figure out if you are still infected with this virus or no. Antibodies play a crucial part in body healing mechanism. A guide to Corona Antibody testing and its relevant facts can help you understand the complete mechanism and outcomes. So, let’s clear up all your doubts!
What does Corona Antibody testing mean?
Do you know the function of antibodies? It helps prevent many infections with a group of immune cells and tissues that fight with diseases to enhance your resistance towards them. Doctors also refer it to foreign bodies that support in avoiding infections to enter your system. When someone infects with the Coronavirus, it takes around three weeks to develop apt quantities of antibodies to be evident in tests.
Scientists and microbiologists worldwide are still figuring out the potential of antibodies and how long they can survive in human bodies. Several weeks after the recovery from COVID-19, these antibodies are revived, and there is no proof of whether they can safeguard from the next infection.
Type of antibodies detected related to Coronavirus through tests
- Binding Antibodies– These are the common antibodies that such tests reveal in the relation of COVID infection. However, it is tricky to find the effectiveness of your immunity system and its strength to combat such infections.
- Neutralizing Antibodies- It is a new and advanced antibody test that detects antibodies more precisely to inactivate this virus. It is the next level test once you get positive results for binding antibodies. With this testing, you can come to know the strength of your antibodies to create a protective shield against Coronavirus.
In short, the Corona antibody test does not look out for the virus but hunts your body’s immune system if it could defend against such a vicious illness or not.
How does the Antibody test work?
Do you fear the antibody test? There’s no need as it’s for your good. The lab technician would make a small finger prick to collect blood samples. With this test, two kinds of antibody detection are done in relevance to SARS-COV-2, which means the culprit virus for a COVID spread.
- IgM antibodies that develop early after the infection
- IgG antibodies that develop at later stages
IgG antibodies are prominent after 14 days from when the symptoms started up. Even after the infection waves off, they retain in your blood, but the term of stay is still not transparent.
How to distinguish between a Coronavirus test and the Antibody test?
COVD-19 test is the early diagnostic test for the relevant virus in your swab. It only suggests if the virus is present in your body at that time or not. There is no relevance to the past or future for this test. For the next course of treatment against coronavirus disease, it is the perfect test. On the other hand, an antibody test discovers if the virus was there in the past or no. It is a better parameter to find if the contagious disease is still bothering you and for how long.
What is the need for Antibody testing?
Many people are known as asymptomatic COVID patients. They might carry the deadly SARS-CoV-2 but stay unaware of it. Not everyone has the prominent symptoms like fever, cough, or sneezing. Hence, people feel uneasiness and are unable to relate it with this infection. As a result, many of them reach advanced stages without any knowledge about it. With the new corona antibody testing, it can become easier for the officials and health experts to understand the spread of this virus. Those who are not detecting Coronavirus in their initial tests can opt for this one to get a further idea about the infection.
Corona Antibody tests aid scientists to get graphs on their patterns and severity. Assessing the actual impact of these antibodies and the probabilities of getting the infection again is possible with these tests. The intensity of infection spread is also a vital outcome after such testing. Researchers can find the exact parameters for who owns the best immunity against this virus. The prime motive behind such testing is to ensure that people with antibodies against COVID infection can lead a regular work without any stress.
Another facet of this antibody testing is to experiment with convalescent plasma. Plasma can be a wonder treatment for quick recoveries from this virus. It is small liquid amounts in your body that develop a shield against various infections. The ongoing research study comprises of involvement by antibodies in human plasma that is evident in people who recently recovered from COVID infections. Treating the ill people with such plasma can boost the recovery rate and reduce the severity of it. But another aspect is to motivate people for the donation of plasma. Volunteering the plasma donation can be a big revolution in a war against this pandemic.
For this, National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project is undertaken wherein the people who recovered from this disease can donate plasma to heal others. You can also avail further information in this regard at the nearby blood donation center. Many online portals guide you regarding this.
What is the accuracy rate for the antibody test?
Every company has distinct data and statistics for the accuracy of antibody tests. Although many researchers claimed it 100% perfect, there is still some level of uncertainty in this regard. After the completion of studies and analysis, the effectiveness of the antibody test can come into the light. FDA issued guidelines stating that no faulty tests could sustain in the market as immediate action will be taken against such manufacturers. There are loopholes in it like these tests might consider IgM antibodies in place of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Accuracy of this test in ongoing research pertains to the type of test and people dealing with it. For secure and trustworthy testing, the government must acquire details about the manufacturer of these kits and the labs undergoing the testing methods. A foolproof plan can only save the human race from the fright of this pandemic.
For whom is the Antibody test suggestive?
Symptomatic or asymptomatic people who might have directly or indirectly fallen prey to Coronavirus could be the victims. If someone tested positive for Coronavirus and underwent the proper treatment, they might, over some time, develop these antibodies. After the safe recovery from the virus, you can volunteer to get the antibody test done. It aims to figure out your immunity to withstand such infections and assure you that there are no remains of the virus in your blood. There are many laboratories and pathologies where such tests are ongoing, and a visit to any of them can solve your problem.
How can I get the Antibody test done?
These tests are not home-based. According to the guidelines from the FDA regarding such antibody tests, people need to consult their healthcare physician or hospital to get the test done. As the scrutiny and authenticity of such tests in under observation, people are still skeptical about its results. NIH or The National Institutes of Health aims to collect a blood sample from over 10,000 healthy people who are not yet COVID positive. This research concentrates on the number of people who carry this virus without knowing about it. If you wish to volunteer for the same, send an email to NIH at email@example.com. Several other public and private labs are directing such tests for the common people.
Importance of coronavirus antibody test for you!
If you want to understand this in a simple language, testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies refers to the result that you had this virus before. But there are also instances of ‘false positive’ where the antibodies are irrelevant to Coronavirus. Much other flu and viral infections also give rise to such antibodies, and you cannot be sure about it. If at all, you are testing ‘positive,’ it means you have built an immunity against this disease. Only after confirmed reports, the world can know about how long it can last.
A ‘Negative’ corona antibody test means either the virus came and went from your body too early, or it did not have it in enough proportion to generate antibodies. Exposure of COVID infection and detecting no antibodies also result in a false negative.
Irrespective of all possibilities, conduct a test only if you find any prominent coronavirus symptoms. Or else, there is no need to get into this fuss. The fact is even the experts in the medical field are still unaware of many aspects relevant to this virus. Hence, you never know that the test outcomes are correct or not. A set of new official guidelines is released now and then confusing the people about what is apt and whatnot. Test results, diagnosis, and process are all under research, and until then, there is no other option other than staying safe.
You might have heard recently that the N-95 mask that was the safest against corona spread is now unsafe and risk-prone! Like this is taking a toll on people’s minds, and they are unable to figure out the right and wrong. The best you can do is stay at home, use a clean and hygienic face mask when moving in public, and ensure frequent hand sanitization. Adequate precaution is the only means to protect from COVID-19.
Parents concern about Coronavirus antibody testing for kids!
Since the news about antibody testing is out, many parents are also getting curious about their kids. Several parents wish to find whether their kids have come in contact with Coronavirus by any means and possess antibodies or not. Kids whose parents are COVID positive or have been earlier might develop such antibodies. They have a potential immunity against COVID-19 infection, and parents could get some relief. Despite all evidence that this antibody testing can prevent risks from this virus, it is still better to rely more on vaccine whenever out. Many health organizations are undergoing a survey concerning find out the relation between the antibodies and the past corona symptoms in kids. It can bring out some interesting revelations about the exact nature of this disease and the role of antibodies in survival. If you are under a worry that your kid might fall prone to potential coronavirus danger, getting this antibody test is ideal.
Process of Coronavirus Antibody testing
In medical language, antibodies are the immunoglobins (proteins) present in your immunity system. A small blood sample is sufficient to find out the antibodies that can combat Coronavirus. Although antibodies protect against future infections, no one knew how long it could last. Consulting the qualified doctor is the only way to find if this test is helpful for you or not.
Steps to undergo Antibody test:
- Application of spirit with cotton to clean up the skin.
- A tight elastic band, also known as a tourniquet, is put around the hand to find the necessary veins.
- Next step is needle insertion in the vein that can provide the sample blood is the right amounts.
- Transfer of blood to the vial or syringe.
- Elastic band is taken off the hand.
- New way of testing also includes a finger prick. Health professionals might prick the finger and collect blood samples.
Where to avail information about COVID-19 and Antibody testing?
You can find the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or refer to the World Health Organization (WHO) websites to provide details on testing and other information on Coronavirus. With the continuous spread of Coronavirus globally, people wish to indulge in socializing, school, and work and bring back the normality in life. But it might take longer than expected to resolve all things. Many online health and government-centric medical portals are also imparting guidelines and the latest news on antibody testing and its repercussions on people. You might also get an idea of average costing for this test.
The protection of diseases with antibodies might even last for a few years as per some surveys. Earlier, some people suffered SARS and MERS infections and got protection for several years. There are some viruses like measles that can protect against reinfection even for a lifetime. Immunity tissues and cells develop distinctly for every person, and the effects of results can also vary considerably. Symptoms are also a major factor affecting the test and results. If a person suffers through normal flu and not COVID, their symptoms might be similar but not the disease. As a result, the antibodies that develop in their body also relates to the specific disease.
Do Antibody tests come under Insurance coverage?
According to the government guidelines, COVID treatment and hospitalization have become part of Insurance coverage, but rules related to antibody tests are not clear yet. If the FDA of your state gives approval, Medicare and Insurance companies can include this test in their policies. It depends on your insurer whether they approve this test under their norms of not. Getting the test receipts is always a good idea as you can present it to your insurer for advice.
Coronavirus Antibody test- What’s our take?
It entirely depends on the individual to undergo this test to identify their immunity to survive this disease or find they had such a problem in the past or not. People prone to exposure in public due to work purpose or any other reason must go through this antibody test. It can relieve your mind about the possible chances of coming in contact with this disease or not. Above all, do not be ignorant about the prevention guidelines issued by state and central governments. Sanitization of hands, wearing masks in public, and maintaining social distancing are a few things to make a part of your life. Developing these habits can cut half the risk of this pandemic, hitting you or your family. For old age people or kids at home, getting an antibody test can ensure higher safety levels.
The coronavirus antibody test is in the developmental phase, and still, many unknown aspects are about to come ahead. Recent recommendations and suggestions are made on the highlighted points, and gradually more facts might appear. The only way to stay safe is to monitor your and your family’s health regularly on a personal level. Ignoring the smallest symptom might get you into big trouble. An antibody test is just a part of this process to ensure that your body can survive this significant pandemic hazard. Stay safe and positive to win this disastrous virus battle and emerge as a smiling survivor despite all jeopardies!