- in Antibody Testing, COVID-19, Dallas, Fort Worth, Keller, Primiary Care, Uptown Dallas, Wellbeing
- on July 22, 2020
Are you curious if you have the COVID-19 antibodies? Where you sick earlier this year and thought it was just the common cold but have suspicions that it may in fact have been COVID? We are now offering antibody testing at each of our clinics. Here is more information about the test and who should be tested.
What Is An Antibody Test? A Test for Past Infection (Antibody Test)
Antibody tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections and can provide protection against getting that disease again (immunity). Antibodies are disease specific. For example, measles antibodies will protect you from getting measles if you are exposed to it again, but they won’t protect you from getting mumps if you are exposed to mumps.
Except in instances in which viral testing is delayed, antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection. An antibody test may not show if you have a current COVID-19 infection because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. To see if you are currently infected, you need a viral test. Viral tests identify the virus in samples from your respiratory system, such as a swab from the inside of your nose.
How to get an antibody test
A guide for understanding test results and determining what actions to take. Decisions about testing are made by healthcare providers.
Antibody tests for COVID-19 are available at each of our clinics. These tests are a simple blood test. We have your results back to you within 2-4 days.
***Please note this is not a test to determine if you have COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body ache, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea please reach out and we can direct you to a safe and professional COVID-19 testing facility. If you have a known or suspected exposure you should seek screening somewhere else with the swab test or they can quarantine for 14 days.
There is no urgency to be tested for antibodies and antibodies can take 2-3 weeks to develop after symptoms begin. For the sake of getting an accurate result it’s recommended you wait 4 weeks from the beginning of symptoms before being scheduled for antibody screening.
What do your results mean?
If you test positive for antibodies
- A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance a positive result means that you have antibodies from an infection with a virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses), such as the one that causes the common cold.
- Having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 may provide protection from getting infected with the virus again. If it does, we do not know how much protection the antibodies may provide or how long this protection may last.
- Talk with your healthcare provider about your test result and the type of test you took to understand what your result means. Your provider may suggest you take a second type of antibody test to see if the first test was accurate.
- You should continue to protect yourself and others since you could get infected with the virus again.
- If you work in a job where you wear personal protective equipment (PPE), continue wearing PPE.
- You may test positive for antibodies even if you have never had symptoms of COVID-19. This can happen if you had an infection without symptoms, which is called an asymptomatic infection.
If you test negative for antibodies
- You may not have ever had COVID-19. Talk with your healthcare provider about your test result and the type of test you took to understand what your result means.
- You could still have a current infection.
- The test may be negative because it typically takes 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. It’s possible you could still get sick if you have been exposed to the virus recently. This means you could still spread the virus.
- Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies, and some people who are infected may not ever develop antibodies.
If you get symptoms after the antibody test, you might need another test called a viral test. Regardless of whether you test positive or negative, the results do not confirm whether or not you are able to spread the virus that causes COVID-19. Until we know more, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others.