Hawaii Antibody Tests Suggest Community's Level Of Exposure Low

Abbot laboratories

The Abbott tests sold by Superdrug for £69 and private clinics such as Babylon and the Independent General Practice in Wales are "home" tests in that people can take a blood sample at home after buying the kit, but they must post it to a lab for processing.

It has a specificity of 100%, which means that a positive result is specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus - the novel coronavirus which causes the Covid-19 disease. Now, if you have symptoms, you can get tested regardless of your age or occupation.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) antibody testing is now available to residents in Westchester County. If you've recently developed symptoms that might be attributable to COVID-19, you should wait until at least 14 days after the start of those symptoms to test for these antibodies, since it can take that long to develop them.

"The problem with these tests will come with their interpretation in the wider context of preventing Covid-19 and SARS-CoV-2 transmission".

Scientists believe people who produce antibodies after having coronavirus may develop immunity to catching the virus again, making them safe to return to work. "Receiving a positive antibody test result does not confer immunity, and it is important that people understand a positive test result does not mean you can be any more relaxed with the required hygiene and social distancing measures as set out by the government". The testing sites include urgent care centers, small family practices, large medical centers, public health centers and popular pharmacy chain stores. When we recover from an infection, some of those disease-fighting antibodies remain in the immune system to fight future instances of the same type of infection. And we don't actually know if antibodies to COVID-19 are protected.

If they bind, the test confirms that the person has had coronavirus in the past and has since developed antibodies against it.

Public Health England (PHE) validated three laboratory-based antibody tests, calling them "game-changing": one from Swiss-based Roche; one from US-based Abbott; and another from the Welsh firm Ortho Clinical Diagnostics.

These tests will begin to be rolled out from next week, with NHS staff being the first to receive them.

He added: "PHE have been evaluating the new antibody tests - the commercial tests that are becoming available - and I have most confidence in that evaluation process, because I think that gives the stamp that we need in order to roll these types on throughout the NHS. Information about how many people have been exposed to the virus and experienced no symptoms or mild symptoms can provide valuable insight to healthcare professionals as they track and respond to the spread of COVID-19".

What other COVID-19 tests exist?

"The test is not intended for use as a home test and it should not be conducted with a finger stick blood sample", as the manufacturer "does not have any data to support that finger-stick blood samples can be used with our test".

Like molecular tests, antigen tests require a doctor to take a swab of a patient's nose or throat. "People using this test will need to interpret the result with caution and still follow guidelines on transmission prevention".

What is an antigen test?

This is the first antigen test for COVID-19 to be approved by the FDA.



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