More Valley coronavirus tests on the way amid reopening of businesses

More Valley coronavirus tests on the way amid reopening of businesses

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, takes over human cells and uses them to make more viruses, sometimes resulting in deadly symptoms.

NHS and social care staff will get antibody tests revealing whether they have had coronavirus from next week, ministers are set to announce on Thursday.

In addition, as knowledge of COVID-19 infection evolves, conflicting views have arisen within the medical and public health communities about how COVID-19 antibody testing can contribute to patient care and to the development of strategies to contain the pandemic. It identifies antibodies from at least 14 days after infection. "However, they won't be able to tell us for months if people who have had the virus are immune".

The City of Carmel will begin testing for COVID-19 antibodies in its employees in early June.

However, experts warned of the risk of creating a false sense of security for those with positive antibody test results, as they offer no guarantee of immunity.

Clinical Labs of Hawaii process the tests. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose someone as being now sick with COVID-19.

Collective Health, a healthcare technology company that has built back-to-work strategies for large companies, is advising employers to use diagnostic tests, not antibody tests. For now, the tests are most helpful for researchers trying to track how the virus spreads in communities. After reports of faulty results and fraud, the agency reversed course.

This means that it will detect positive antibodies 97.5% of the time.

Boggs explained that there are three markers: an IGM (an immediate marker), an IGA (intermediate marker), and an IGG (long term marker).

Anyone over 18 can take the test.

Dr. Melinda Ashton, an executive vice president at Hawaii Pacific Health said that percentage is very low. This means that if you get a positive result, you can be sure the result is specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and there's no cross-reactivity between other viral antibodies (such as flu).

While Ashton was glad that COVID-19 wasn't spreading in her hospitals, the low number does raise some concerns. "So we still need a lot more research to understand how to deal with it".

"What we're all hoping for at some point is herd immunity, right?"

However, it is following along with UNMC to see how those with antibodies are recovering.

"Many employers ... are realizing that antibody testing isn't going to be a silver bullet and really isn't going to bring them any value", said David Zeig, a lead consultant on clinical services at Mercer.

However Brown explained that herd immunity alone would probably not work in a place as large as the United States because the death toll would be far too large.

LabCorp's chief medical officer, Brian Caveney, said interest in antibody testing is coming from companies in coronavirus hotspots, such as NY, while other areas with fewer COVID-19 cases see diagnostic testing as more important.

When can I get the test?

It's also unclear if those antibodies make people immune to the virus. "I would caution people against being tempted to have those tests". "No, you didn't have it in January and February", he said. However with the coronavirus as transmissible as it is, one person's cough can infect many, many people.

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