There are clinics, laboratories and doctors’ offices at DFW where you can go and pay for one of these tests which can tell you if you have had COVID-19 in the past and now have antibodies in your body, but confusion mounts over COVID-19 antibody tests.
This week, the FDA cleared tests for Chembio Diagnostic Systems and Ortho Clinical Diagnostics.
They join a test authorized in early April by the company Cellex.
Also on Wednesday, Abbott Laboratories announced that it would be releasing a new antibody test without explicit permission from the FDA.
Abbott and dozens of other companies are legally authorized to distribute it under regulatory flexibilities issued by the FDA.
Tests offered to North Texans for anywhere between $ 20 and $ 70.
It uses a drop of blood to look for IgM antibodies, which are present in a current COVID-19 infection, and / or IgG antibodies that remain in your body after you heal.
The question is for how long?
“We don’t know the answer to this question,” said President of the Texas Public Health Coalition, Dr. John Carlo.
Carlo said it was a big takeaway that people should know about antibody testing.
“We don’t even know if this positive test really proves that you were safe or safe from a subsequent coronaviral infection, so I fear that a positive test could give someone a false sense of security,” he said.
There is also a question about these IgM antibodies.
It could mean that you are an asymptomatic carrier. Your doctor may recommend a PCR test, which is the nasal swab test.
“Many of us want to be tested to show that we are immune or protected from another coronavirus infection. Again, the antibody test will really be of no use to us. “
Carlo said the antibody test sees how it can be a powerful tool if deployed in a mass setting, such as a nursing home, to help public health decision makers track local infections.
National health leaders have said tests can help increase the number of nurses, doctors and first responders on the front line.
At the moment, experts say that there is no perfect test and that there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19 antibodies, which is why social distancing is always essential to slow the spread. .