All Points Medical Waste Blog
Should You Get an Antibody Test?
What You Need to Know Before You Do
Antibody testing is the newest topic we all keep hearing about as it applies to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there’s tons of information circulating out there, many people are wondering what all the buzz is about—do we need this test to return to work or school? Will it solve the problem of tracking those who’ve had the virus and possibly didn’t know it? And why does it matter if one isn’t sick or showing any symptoms?
What Exactly is an Antibody Test?
An antibody test is a simple blood test, also referred to as a serology test. A blood sample is taken from the patient to determine if they have been infected with COVID-19. To be clear, the antibody test is different than the COVID-19 viral antigen test, which is a nose swab or a saliva test that is checking to see if you have the virus and are infectious right now.
What Does it Mean if the Antibody Test is Positive?
If the antibody test comes back positive, it means that you’ve been exposed to the virus. It means that there is a presence of COVID-19 antibodies in your blood, even if you were never sick or showing any symptoms.
Does a Positive Test Mean Immunity to COVID-19?
Unfortunately, scientists and medical experts are still researching whether or not antibodies from COVID-19 protect people from getting ill or becoming infected a second time. Typically, antibodies are present in the blood to help mobilize the body and prevent a second infection, but because the coronavirus is so new, it is not clear that this is the case.
How Accurate is the Antibody Test?
Although there is much discussion about antibody tests, the CDC is warning people not to bank on these tests to determine if it’s safe to end social distancing or to return to work and school. As with any new virus, there is still much to learn about COVID-19 and many of the antibody tests are producing false positive and negatives, causing even more confusion and questions.
Additionally, because it is still unclear whether or not the presence of COVID-19 antibodies means immunity from the virus, experts are cautioning against relying on these test results to establish policies.
Who Should Get an Antibody Test?
Because there are still many questions as to its reliability and accuracy, most people don’t need to rush out and get an antibody test. Those folks who were sick in the recent past and suspect they had COVID-19 may want to get a test because there is a need for donated convalescent plasma at this time. But essentially, if you’ve had the coronavirus and were not sick or showing symptoms, it takes time for the antibodies to be present in your blood, so there’s no real rush to go out and get tested.
During any crisis, it’s always good practice to stay informed and follow the guidelines of the CDC and local health officials. Remaining prudent when it comes to returning to activities is always recommended to protect yourself and your loved ones against exposure.
All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned company located in Stuart, Florida. We offer full service medical waste disposal throughout South Florida from Broward County all the way up to Okeechobee County. Fill out this form or give us a call today to learn more.