COVID-19 Antibody Testing
We are receiving lots of calls and questions from patients about the antibody testing that’s recently become available and whether patients can get tested. Our physicians don’t yet have all of that information as there are many factors to consider and data needed to assess the testing from both a scientific and medical perspective.
Here’s what we know:
As of 4/23/20:
UW Virology is one of the few labs testing the effectiveness of a recent antibody test developed by Abbott Laboratories
There are many different labs offering testing and not all are created equal
Testing recommendations may be prioritized to essential workers
There is no FDA approved antibody test, treatment, or vaccine
Antibody testing and results are not a replacement for WHO and CDC guidelines for prevention such as staying home when you’re sick, physical distancing, hand washing, sneezing/coughing into bent elbow, not touching your face
Negative results do not rule out an infection
Antibody tests do not diagnose or exclude a COVID-19 infection
Positive results may be due to exposure to another coronavirus strain
It is unknown if having antibodies to this virus gives someone immunity and if so for how long (it is known that people can become reinfected with other coronaviruses that circulate seasonally).
It is possible that someone could have a positive antibody test but still pass on the virus to someone else
It is unclear if the antibody test will be covered by insurance and under what circumstances
As you can see, there’s still a lot that we don’t know. We do have access to a laboratory that offers the latest antibody test by Abbott. We are not discouraging testing but are encouraging patients to schedule a visit with a healthcare provider to discuss their concerns and details of what testing is available to see if it makes sense for them. Our doctors receive updates daily on the COVID-19 situation and we will continue to keep our patients updated.
We are offering short visits in-person or virtually for patients to discuss testing with our doctors.
Book online or call the clinic to schedule 425-258-4633