People tend to confuse the COVID-19 test with the serology test, which is totally different. While the covid test diagnoses a current infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the other one checks if there was a previous exposure in the body to the same virus.
If someone gets exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the body may take several days before the body develops antibodies. So, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, you shouldn’t undergo an urgent care antibody test. Instead, you must wait for at least ten days before you go for a test. It would be necessary if a person doesn’t have any symptoms when you undergo this serology testing.
What are Antibodies?
Antibodies are proteins your immune system forms after vaccination against the disease. The body may also create them after someone has healed from an illness, keeping future infections at bay. So, a person could have been a carrier of the COVID-19 virus and was asymptomatic. That means he may not know because there are no signs.
Antibody Testing, And Why It’s a Crucial Procedure?
Antibody or serology testing is a process that analyzes a patient’s blood in search of antibodies that help fight off illnesses in the body.
If a person is going for antibody testing, the test detects if he previously had an infection unknowingly if it doesn’t exist anymore.
National research efforts use this serology test as one of the ways to protect the public against the virus. As an individual, you can visit an urgent care antibody test center where you’ll get your results within a day.
Generally, it helps researchers learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its behavior. So, the scientists evaluate what happens if those who’ve had the virus come into contact with it again. And this information can also help them understand who might be immune to the virus.
Antibody Test Procedure
Before the urgent care antibody test begins, a provider must ensure safety measures. First, they must review your condition and then ensure you don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19. Then they might put you in an isolation room if necessary.
When all the safety measures are in order, he will take a blood sample from the patient by pricking your fingertip. After this quick process, he takes the sample to the lab for analysis. The test result can establish the types of antibodies that you have. These are:
IgM antibodies; develop early in the body when a person gets an infection.
IgG antibodies; Most people develop these antibodies. They evolve later once the symptoms start showing, 14 days after exposure. IgG antibodies can remain in the body even after the virus is no more in the body. However, it’s unclear how long it can stay or how strong it is because it depends from one person to another. Researchers are still learning the behavior of this immunity against the COVID-19 virus.
So, a positive result can show you’ve already had COVID-19. But it doesn’t mean you’re immune to the virus. You must continue adhering to safety measures like physical distancing, washing your hands regularly, and even wearing masks in public places.
How Accurate are the Antibody Tests?
According to some studies that looked at the accuracy of these antibody tests, these tests that looked for IgG/IgM antibodies had low sensitivity. For instance, the ability to correctly identify the antibodies on the onset of symptoms in the first week is (30.1%). Then by the second week, the sensitivity went up by (72.2%) It peaked at (91.4%) in the third week.
This statistic shows that antibody tests could have a vital role in detecting the previous infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But this must happen 15 or more days after the symptom onset.
If you want to find out if you had previously had the COVID-19 virus, you can head to the urgent care antibody test center for a quick result. You can also have the test for other reasons, such as researchers’ requests or after healing completely from this virus. But people should not use this test if the virus is still in the body. Instead, they should wait for at least 14 days after the virus attack.
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