There are different types of testing used to detected COVID-19 symptoms and infection. The antibody test is one of them. Antibody tests (also known as serological tests) are blood tests that look for antibodies to a virus. They do not look for the virus itself. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to help fight infection.
It takes about one to three weeks after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms for the body to produce enough antibodies to be found by a test. Some people may take even longer to produce antibodies, and some people who were infected with COVID-19 may have developed antibodies.
We still don’t know if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected again and if it does protect them, how long that protection (immunity) might last. Until more is known, even if you have had a positive antibody test, you should continue to practice daily prevention, to protect yourself and others, including keeping a physical distance from others, properly wearing a cloth cover for the face, and wash hands frequently.
Choose carefully and avoid the Three C’s (closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact). Antibody test results should not be used to determine if someone can return to work or to decide who can spend time together. It is still important to social distance until you are sure.
The Test Results
No test for COVID-19 is perfect. Any test can produce:
False-negative results – This means that the test result must be positive because you HAVE COVID-19, but instead of being positive it came back negative. This can happen, for example, if the sample was not taken correctly, the test was taken too early, or the test did not work well.
False-positive results – This means that the test result must be negative because you DO NOT have COVID-19, but instead of being negative it came out positive. This can happen, for example, if it is very unlikely that the person being tested is infected and the test did not work well.
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The virus that causes COVID-19 is not the same as the viruses that cause the common cold, and there is still no vaccine or cure for COVID-19. Cases vary from those with no symptoms to even those that cause the death of the patient. The care and treatment vary according to various health factors of each patient. Seek testing from a facility such as Primex Labs to see if you are infected.