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Antibody Testing

Proteins made by the immune system are called antibodies. Their work is to fight viruses and other infections that attack the body. These proteins also keep at bay the same infections that may occur in the future. When someone is exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection, the body may take days and even weeks to develop antibodies. What's worse is that it is not known how long they will stay in the blood.

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What is Antibody Test?

All the conversations on TV and other media outlets about coronavirus disease 2019, aka COVID-19, many are confused about the various tests and how they are done. Antibody testing is done to establish whether someone had COVID-19 in the past. If someone has had this disease in the past and got healed, antibodies were developed, which allowed the body to fight the virus. To know whether you are currently suffering from this disease, a test to diagnose COVID-19 is done. Below is what you need to know about testing.

What is involved in an antibody testing

  • The test should be done at home.
  • You'll receive the test kit in the mail
  • The instructions in the test kit should be read and followed carefully.
  • Using a lancet device, you will have to prick your fingertip and squeeze the blood into a tube.
  • If the test makes you nervous, you can ask someone to help you do it, that is, if you are not self-isolating.
  • Once you are through doing the test, you will have to post the done test kit in a Royal Mail priority postbox.
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How Does an Antibody Test Work?

A sample of blood from your pricked fingertip is taken by the technician who does a test to establish whether you have one or both kinds of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. This type of virus is what causes COVID-19:
IgM antibodies: These are antibodies that develop early when an infection occurs.
IgG antibodies: These are antibodies that are bound to develop later
When the symptoms start showing 14 days once you are exposed, most people will develop IgG antibodies. Usually, these antibodies remain in the body even when the virus has left the body. It is, however, not clear how long they will stay in the body, especially for the new coronavirus. A small sample of blood is used to test for coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is what a health professional will do while getting the blood sample:

  • Clean the skin
  • Get the blood veins to swell with blood by putting an elastic band (tourniquet) above the injection area
  • Look for a vein inside the armor on the back of the hand and insert the needle
  • Draw the blood sample into a syringe or a vial
  • Remove the elastic band and gently draw out the needle from the vein

Occasionally, a "fingerstick" may be used to do the antibodies testing. This is done by pricking the fingertip once a health professional cleans it. A tiny needle called a lancet is used to prick the finger to get a sample of blood.

When should you do antibody testing, and why is it important?

Otherwise called serology testing, an antibody testing is typically performed when someone has fully recovered from COVID-19. The availability of the test will determine who is eligible for this test. A health care professional takes a sample of blood by drawing blood from the vein in the arm or by pricking the fingertip. Tests are then performed to establish whether coronavirus antibodies were developed. The immune system produces antibodies in the form of protein. They are vital components for fighting and eliminating the virus. In case the antibodies test results reveal that there are antibodies in your blood, it means that at some point, you were infected with COVID-19. It may also imply that you're in possession of immunity. However, it is not clear whether having antibodies protects you from contracting the disease again. The level of immunity is also not established as well as how long it stays in the body.

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Some studies are going on right now that will reveal this information. Accuracy is determined by the type and timing of the antibody test. Antibodies may not be detected if the test is conducted too early in the course of infection, and this is because the body is still building the immune response. To get the desired antibodies test results, antibody testing should be done at least 14 days after showing symptoms. Various tests are still conducted in the market with questionable accuracies even after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed specific antibody tests.

Another advantage of performing accurate antibodies testing is that those who have fully recovered from COVID-19 can donate plasma. This is the blood component responsible for generating these antibodies. Patients with severe illness can benefit from the plasma because it is useful for treating such ailments. Plasma also enhances the ability of the body to fight the virus, which is known to doctors as convalescent plasma.

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Why An Antibody Testing is Important?

If you search for "Covid antibody test near me" and get tested, you may be infected by SARS-CoV-2, but you are unaware of it. The reason is that not all those who have the virus have the symptoms. Experts believe that by conducting coronavirus antibodies testing, health officials will better understand how common the virus is. It will be easy for scientists to tell how sick the virus makes most patients once they know who was infected by the virus. It will also allow them to establish what happens if such individuals get re-infected by the virus. This and other scientific data will make it easier for researchers to know who can develop immunity against the virus.

How can antibody testing reduce the spread of COVID-19?

Early treatment can be given to those who have had COVID-19 diagnostic testing, tested positive, and started displaying symptoms. It may also help stop or slow down the virus from spreading when contacts are traced early and begin to self-isolate. However, all COVID-19 tests don't provide accurate results. There are instances where a person may test negative but turn out to be positive. This is called a false-negative result. Others can also test positive, yet they are not infected. As a result, it's critical to follow the rules and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include putting masks on where it's appropriate and social distancing until they are lifted. From the antibody testing, health care officials may tell how many people recovered from the virus and those who were infected but displayed no symptoms. Those who have immunity may also be known, even though it is hard to tell the extent and for how long.

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What's the Difference Between a COVID-19
Rapid Antibody Detection Test and
COVID-19 Traditional Antibody Test

COVID-19 Rapid Antibody Detection Test

  • With just one drop of blood, results are known within 10 minutes
  • Can indicate if the person had the virus in the past and whether he/she developed immunity. Not ideal for patients who are currently suffering from the virus.

COVID-19 Traditional Antibody Test

  • The lab load capacity will determine when the results will come out, which is within 1-5 days
  • Reveals if the person was infected with coronavirus before and whether or not antibiotics were developed. Patients who are currently suffering from the disease can't be diagnosed.

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Why visit a Wilmington Urgent
Clinic for Antibody testing

Visiting urgent care clinics offer many benefits when it comes to high-quality treatment and affordable health care services. Unlike emergency rooms that take hours to offer treatment. You can also expect quick responses from urgent care clinics that cater to all kinds of health care conditions or situations. An emergency room will only respond fast when the condition is life-threatening. When you require professional health care services urgently, and you can't seem to get a hold of your primary care provider, visiting an urgent family clinic offers the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you have just had a SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing, and the results turn out to be positive, it means that you contracted the COVID-19 virus recently or initially. There is also a chance that your positive results are false, and false results may be as a result of:

  • The rest may detect other viruses other than SARS-CoV-2. It may be a virus that causes the common cold or other coronaviruses
  • The test is conducted in an area with very few cases of COVID-19 infections, this type of test should be done in areas with higher infection rates.

It doesn't matter if you test positive for antibodies. Certainly means that you have developed immunity against COVID-19. Just because you have developed antibodies does not mean that you can be re-infected with SARS-CoV-2. It also doesn't mean that you can't infect others with the virus.

When your SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing results reveal that you have tested negative, it means that there were no antibodies found in your blood sample. This could mean:

  • You haven't contracted COVID-19 lately or previously.
  • It can also mean that you got COVID-19 in the past, but antibodies did not form or were not detected.
  • It is not clear whether detectable antibody responses will form in all infected individuals.
  • It may also mean that the result may not be true. This is called a false-negative result. It may be that you have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, but they haven't been detected.
  • The ability to identify people with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is known as sensitivity. It is also known as the true positive rate. A highly sensitive test will identify those people who truly have antibodies. This means that there will be few people with false-negative results.
  • The ability of the test to correctly identify people who have no antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is known as specificity. This is the true negative rate. A highly specific test will identify people who truly have no antibodies. This test will identify very few people who have no antibodies as having antibodies.

This is the value of the probability of the people who have truly had a positive antibody result from the test. The positive predictive values for SARS-CoV-2 are affected by how common SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are being tested in a given time.

Different outcomes can be obtained from different labs depending on several factors. One of them is the ability of the labs to produce accurate results and how long it takes for your body to develop antibodies after you are exposed to the virus. That is, if you were infected. That is why you need to always review your results with the help of your healthcare provider.

To get the right information, whether you require antibody testing, reach out to your health care provider or your local health department, who will guide you on what you need to do. You need a description from a health care provider to know if the rest is ideal for you.

You may get access to an antibody test or diagnostic tests at a testing center or your local health care facility once you have consulted your healthcare provider. To get more information, contact your state/local health department or local health care provider.

You are not supposed to get antibody testing to determine if your Covid-19 immunity works or not. Only your health care provider will determine whether you require antibody testing or not.

The decision on whether you can return to work without undergoing the antibody test lies with your employer or your local government or state. If you are unsure about the requirements to return to work, you can just ask your employer. You should also know the steps that your employer has taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can get more information in the Interim Guidelines for COVID-19 Antibody Testing.

About Wilmington Urgent Clinic

Wilmington Urgent Family Clinic is an advanced health care provider based in Wilmington, California, offering fast response and high-quality healthcare services and treatment. We offer all our services with the patient in mind, and the wellbeing of our patients is always our priority when providing compassionate health care services. At Wilmington Urgent Family Clinic, clients get undivided attention when receiving medical treatment. All our patients are handled with the utmost care, respect, and love to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

Wilmington Urgent Family Clinic knows what patients need and is seeking medical services. You don't need to wait to receive treatment and consultation from us. All you need to do is walk in and receive speedy and high-quality services using state-of-the-art medical equipment and professional care. We are here to cater to your every magical need regardless of your health condition. We've extended our working hours to ensure that all our clients receive immediate medical attention without delay. Among the services that we offer include complete x-ray services.

Walk-in urgent care clinics like Wilmington urgent care are the best because they also offer physical examinations conveniently. If you want to get an antibody testing or even a COVID-19 test, just type 'Covid-19 testing near me in Google's search bar. You'll get all the information you require. About Wilmington Urgent Family Clinic, other services offered. With our professional and experienced staff, you are guaranteed superb and unrivaled health care services at affordable rates. We have several clinics spread in various locations in Southern California.

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