What Is It?
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. We currently do not offer COVID virus tests only antibody tests.
If you were sick earlier this year with 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 you may have had COVID-19. If you did not recieve a test confirming this you may want to be tested for antibodies.
- There have been over 350,000 positive COVID-19 cases reported in Texas.
- It is possible if the virus acts as other viruses and you do have the antibodies you may not be suseptible to catch or carry the virus again.
- If you do test positive for antibodies you can donate your plasma for research to help develope a vaccine.