A: SARS-CoV-2 stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Type 2, the virus currently causing the COVID-19 pandemic.
A: The antibody test detects whether a patient has any evidence of a previous COVID-19 infection. The test consists of obtaining a blood draw from the patient and then testing the blood to determine its antibody response to the infection. Antibodies develop when the immune system responds to a germ, usually a virus or a bacterium. With other diseases, the IgG antibody usually develops within three to four weeks after infection and lasts for a long time. After a patient develops IgG antibodies, their immune system recognizes the cause of the antibody formation and can try to fight it the next time the patient is exposed. The COVID-19 virus appears to result in the body producing IgG antibodies, however, it is unclear exactly when then antibodies are formed and whether everyone infected forms the antibodies. It’s thought that IgG for COVID-19 should be detectable by 10-14 days after the start of an infection. The antibody test should not be confused with the nasal swab PCR test, which detects the actual COVID-19 virus and indicates an active infection.
Children’s Hospital Urgent Care does not currently offer the antibody test.
A: A typical candidate for the antibody test has no current symptoms although they may suspect they had a prior infection or have had some symptoms in the past. If a person has had symptoms as recently as two weeks ago, it may be too early for the antibody test to be accurate and the test may be falsely negative.
A: Patients may visit a clinician who will provide a medical evaluation of their current and past symptoms to determine whether the test is appropriate. If the patient is a candidate, the test consists of a blood sample taken during the visit. However, the clinician may choose not to conduct the test due to the possibility of false positives or negatives.
A: Test results are usually available within 48 hours- Test results will be shared by phone call from one of our representatives.
A: The results for this test are reported as “reactive,” “nonreactive,” or “indeterminate.”
A: A positive antibody test indicates that the patient was infected with COVID-19 in the past and that their immune system developed antibodies that can try to fight it off. This can also identify people who had an infection in the past, even if they showed no symptoms of the illness. In the future, a reactive result may help determine a level of COVID-19 immunity. That determination can’t be made at this time. If large numbers of people take the test in a community, public health leaders and researchers can determine what percentage of the population has already experienced COVID-19.
A: The antibody test detects whether the patient had a prior infection of COVID-19. However, because this virus is so new, we are still learning about it, and we cannot say with certainty that any developed antibodies will equate to immunity and/or what the duration of the immunity may be. As a result, even if the patient has antibodies, they should continue to practice social distancing and wear masks in public.
A: Patients should check with their medical insurers to determine whether the tests are covered under their insurance plan. If the patient does not have insurance, the general cost of the antibody test and PCR ranges from $50 to $100.