Coronavirus

4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

Coronavirus

4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Ask Dr. Nandi: F.D.A. approves first coronavirus antibody test in U.S.

Posted at 10:07 AM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 10:07:11-04

<div class="RichTextArticleBody"> <div class="RichTextArticleBody-body"><p>If you had COVID-19 symptoms but couldn’t get tested, there’s a new product that could help you find out if you’ve had the virus. The FDA has given emergency use authorization for an antibody test - and it’s the first for the United States. </p><p>I’m super excited about this new test. It should really help us as we continue to fight the coronavirus. </p><p>So how does it work? Well, blood samples are taken and sent to authorized labs. There, the test looks for two types of antibodies. immunoglobulin M, made by the body a few days after an infection; and immunoglobulin G, made later to neutralize a particular bug. </p><p>If you test positive, it indicates that you’ve either been recently infected or infected with the coronavirus.</p><p>This new blood test has been authorized for diagnosis, but, there’s a downside. And that’s because antibodies can take time to develop. </p><p>So if you get tested too early, there’s a possibility that you might actually test negative. Whereas the current PCR tests, they’re more likely to detect a new infection by swabbing the nose and throat.</p><p>The test would show if you have antibodies, but it wouldn’t tell you how well they are working. </p><p>Having said that, it’s likely you’ll have some immunity - there is just no guarantee that you would have full immunity. But this would still be very helpful in determining how many of us have been infected. </p><p>It would also be very useful for my colleagues and all health care workers. </p><p>Of course, they would still need proper protection as we don’t know with certainty that you're protected. But I feel that it would provide some peace of mind for those working on the front lines.</p><p>Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

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