How does antibody testing work? News 12 provides a behind-the-scenes look at the process

News 12's Kevin Vesey visited AFC Urgent Care in West Islip to run through the process, which started with a check of his vital signs.

News 12 Staff

May 6, 2020, 9:23 PM

Updated 1,501 days ago

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Antibody tests are becoming more readily available, so what's the process of getting one?
COVID-19 antibody tests can determine whether someone had the coronavirus and has since recovered.
News 12's Kevin Vesey visited AFC Urgent Care in West Islip to run through the process, which started with a check of his vital signs.
Shortly after the preliminary tests, it was time to have a blood test, which took just a few minutes. It was then sent to a lab.
Dr. Robert Levy, who performed the exam, says antibody tests are going to give health officials a more accurate picture of how many Americans have been infected with COVID-19.
"If somebody tested positive for the virus, we already know you have antibodies ... the people who require the antibody test are really the folks who already had symptoms and tested negative or were not tested at all," says Levy.
Doctors at AFC say Vesey's test results should be ready in one to two days. They say the tests are 99.9% accurate.
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This test has been given emergency authorization by the FDA, but some others have not. The agency recently tightened its guidelines for manufacturers after multiple tests with varying levels of accuracy flooded the market.
The question remains whether the presence of antibodies mean someone is immune to the virus. Levy says evidence points in that direction, but it still hasn't been proven.
"We expect it to be able to show that those folks have some immunity to the virus, but we just don't know for how long," says Levy.
Even if you do test positive for antibodies, doctors say you should still wear a mask and practice social distancing to protect yourself and others.
 


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