Physician’s Plan Weight Loss + Wellness will offer COVID-19 antibody testing for patients at all centers. Antibody tests look at your body’s response to SARS-CoV-2. Unlike the tests used to diagnose patients with COVID-19, which look for signs that the virus is present in your body, the simple finger prick test looks for evidence in a patient’s bloodstream that the person has been exposed to COVID-19 in the past. They are not used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection.
How does it work?
Many people wonder if they may or may not have already had the coronavirus. Some people do not exhibit symptoms and others exhibit mild symptoms. Therefore, it is sometimes hard to know when or if an individual was exposed to the virus. The human immune system responds to an invading virus by producing new antibodies that specifically recognize that virus and help fight it off. Once the virus is gone, these antibodies remain in the bloodstream — standing guard so they can wipe out the virus quickly if it invades again.
These blood tests are not nose swabs. If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and reach out to a nearby COVID-19 testing site. There are many sites throughout South and North Carolina available. Physician’s Plan Weight Loss + Wellness is only seeing well patients with added precautions to ensure the ongoing safety of our patients and staff.
Antibody testing requires 5 milliliters of blood. The test is simple, safe, and fast. We have a limited supply, so please call to book your antibody test at your nearest center.
What do the results mean?
A positive antibody test result means that the patient’s blood contains IgG reactive against SARS-CoV-2. This is a strong indication that the person has been exposed to the novel coronavirus. False positives or negatives are unlikely for the antibody test.
It is not yet known whether people who are carriers of SARS-CoV-2 develop an immune response against the virus or not.
Who should be tested?
Candidates for antibody testing include patients who had signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in the past. We will not be testing anyone with active COVID-19 symptoms. The antibody test helps to identify patients who have recovered from COVID-19 who may be potential donors of convalescent plasma. The plasma containing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 is being used as a treatment for people seriously ill with COVID-19. It is also the first step in learning more, on the research side, about the virus and how to prevent its spread.