COVID Antibody Testing: How It Works

COVID Antibody Testing: How It Works

A coronavirus antibody test is a way of screening antibodies in your blood. Antibodies help your body create immunities for viruses. A coronavirus antibody test will check to see if your immune system has responded to coronavirus. This test is for people who believe that they have previously had COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms of coronavirus can range in severity. While some may seem like symptoms of a mild common cold, others can present more severely. If you have come into contact with a person who has coronavirus, your symptoms would start to show in 2-14 days after being exposed. According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, coughing, shortness of breath, difficulties breathing, fatigue, body aches, headaches, sore throat, congestion, and a runny nose. 

What Are Antibodies? 

Antibodies are proteins in your blood that help protect you from infections. They will also protect you from getting a certain disease again. Antibodies are disease-specific, meaning that they will protect you from getting that specific infection again, but not others. 

How the Coronavirus Antibody Test Works

When you get COVID-19 testing done, a technician will take a small portion of your blood through your finger. This form of COVID testing will check for antibodies related to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for coronavirus. This test differs from regular COVID-19 testing as it is not looking for signs of an active virus. The antibody test will show if you have had the virus in the past. Even so, there is a chance you could still be contagious when you get a coronavirus antibody test. 

Reasons for COVID Testing 

This form of COVID testing is great for those who may have been asymptomatic. An asymptomatic carrier of coronavirus does not show any symptoms, but can still infect others. If you have been exposed to coronavirus, it is important that you quarantine for 14 days, even if you show no symptoms. If you want to be sure that you were asymptomatic, you can receive COVID-19 testing to confirm that you were infected. 

What Happens When You Test Positive? 

A positive coronavirus antibody test will show that you have antibodies from the virus that causes coronavirus. Even so, these antibodies could be from the virus that causes the common cold, as this virus is also in the coronavirus family. If you have antibodies indicating that you have had COVID-19, you may be immune from getting infected again. Because of this, you may be able to help scientists tell what happens when a person comes into contact with coronavirus again after having it once. Your doctor may suggest that you have another type of antibody test to confirm that the first test was accurate. No matter what, you should continue to protect yourself from potential COVID-19 infection, as no studies report that having coronavirus once will make you immune. 

COVID-19 Testing With Bass Advanced Urgent Care 

If you display any symptoms of coronavirus, have been exposed to coronavirus,  or believe you previously had coronavirus, you may want to get tested. If you are in the Bay Area, BASS Urgent Care offers antibody testing and regular COVID-19 testing. After a Telehealth call with us, we will determine which test suits your situation. For a routine COVID-19 test, you can remain in the comforts of your car while we test you. For an antibody test, you will be asked to enter our CDC compliant, low-risk facility for your test. We will get your results back to you within 48-72 hours. To schedule a telehealth video visit with us, visit our website or call us at (925) 329-3718.