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COVID-19 Antibody Testing

  • Category: Coronavirus
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Baton Rouge General
COVID-19 Antibody Testing

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 falls into.

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.