Do you have a sneaking suspicion you may have already had COVID-19? While
diagnostic testing for people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 is now
widespread, it can only tell someone if they’re currently infected.
New antibody tests, however, reveal whether or not someone may have been
infected in the past.
When your body fights an infection, it creates proteins, called antibodies,
that help your immune system fight off the pathogen. Those antibodies
remain after the infection is gone and can tell you exactly which infections
your body has been fighting.
It’s important to note that having antibodies doesn’t mean
you’re immune to a particular illness. Some viruses work that way,
but not all of them do - and we don’t know yet which group COVID-19
As you consider an antibody test, keep in mind that not all tests are equal.
There is a wide variation in sensitivity and accuracy. Some tests may
return false positives -- identifying someone as having had the disease
when they haven’t -- and false negatives -- being tested too soon
or having a weakened immune system and being unable to produce antibodies.
Baton Rouge General is using the COR2G serology test developed by Mayo
Clinic. This is one of the most robustly validated tests through Mayo
Clinic labs and yields a 98.6% specificity (ability of the test to correctly
identify those with antibodies).
We don’t yet know what a positive antibody test means for COVID-19.
Until we know more, don’t let your guard down.
- Wear a mask when you go out in public, especially in places where social
distancing may be a problem (grocery stores and pharmacies).
- Keep all surfaces in your home and in your car clean and disinfected.
- Clean your hands frequently, especially after you go out in public places.
Antibody testing is most accurate for people who experienced symptoms of
COVID-19 at least 14 days ago. If you would like to receive an antibody
test, you can get one at Baton Rouge General’s Highland Village
and Dutchtown Express Care locations.
Click here to learn more or to make an appointment for testing.