Original date: May 7, 2020
We are doing antibody testing at Personal MD
We have started performing antibody testing in our office. The antibody test we are performing is a sensitive blood draw (not finger stick) that we send to Labcorp.
What is an antibody test?
Antibodies are made by the body in response to an infection. There are several types of antibodies made by the body. The two most common are called IgM and IgG. IgM antibodies are made when you are actively fighting an infection. The IgG antibodies are made once you have recovered from an infection.
What does an antibody test tell me?
The results of this test tell you if you have been exposed to the coronavirus AND developed antibody protection to the virus. It is different from the test we use to identify if you currently have coronavirus causing you to feel sick. That is a nasal swab test looking for the virus itself.
How much does the test cost?
We could file with your insurance company if you had a positive COVID-19 test in the past. If you did not have a positive COVID-19 test in the past, the cost is $95/test.
How long does it take to get results?
The turnaround time is three to four days.
Questions I don’t have answers to yet regarding COVID-19 antibody testing:
- Can I donate plasma?
- Does that mean I can no longer spread the infection?
- Do I still have to wear a mask or be careful of going in public?
- Will I ever get COVID-19 again?
- Does that mean my family has also had it?
The bottom line is we know if you do have the IgG antibody, you were exposed and developed an immune response to the virus. When we see this response to other viruses, we interpret that as active protection toward that infection. Since SARS-CoV 2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19) is a novel virus, we do not have a track record on how our bodies will respond to this virus. With time, we will know more and be able to give you better answers to these questions.
If you think you would like to have a test done, please reply to this email explaining why you want to get the antibody test done. Tests are only in our office with a doctor’s order and are only done by appointment.