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What does your antibody test results mean?

A scientist presents an antibody test for coronavirus in a laboratory of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) at the InfectoGnostics research campus in Jena, Germany, Friday, April 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
A scientist presents an antibody test for coronavirus in a laboratory of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) at the InfectoGnostics research campus in Jena, Germany, Friday, April 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)(GIM)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

Clinics across the Wiregrass are offering blood tests to determine if patients had COVID-19 in the past.

All it takes is a finger prick, a drop of blood, and about 10 minutes for doctors to take a look at your antibodies and determine if you were exposed or had COVID-19 in the past.

“Antibodies are a little more accurate than some of the active virus testing,” says Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine D.O. Gregory Thompson.

When testing for antibodies, doctors look at two types - IgM and IgG.

IgM is a short-term antibody that develops in most patients within 7 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus.

IgG are antibodies that develop 3 to 4 weeks after being exposed.

When IgM is detected it is possible that the patient may still be infected with the virus,” says Thompson.

The IgM after the 21 days are up and start to diminish and disappear. That’s that acute reaction to the virus and then the long-term reaction is the IgG and hopefully whoever catches it then has a nice long life of the IgG to protect them if they come in contact with it again,” says Thompson.

Doctor Thompson says at this time there is not enough data to determine how long igg stays positive.

Getting tested for antibodies can be helpful for many especially those who are asymptomatic and concerned.

Thompson suggests getting tested if you are around high-risk individuals.

“I think it’s really about your own sense of wellbeing, you’re sense of what’s the right thing to do. If you’re in the life of someone like that then it’s reasonable I would say to get tested regularly if you haven’t serum levels tested for the antibodies,” says Thompson.

Check with your doctor or healthcare provider to see where you can get tested.

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