About a week ago, I wrote about the importance of testing for COVID-19 and where you can find testing sites in Illinois. This week, I thought it would help to discuss follow-up steps for those who tested positive. If you had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have fully recovered, it may be beneficial to you and the health community to get an antibody test. But what is an antibody test and what are antibodies? Well, in short, antibodies are a part of our immune system and help us fight off viruses and disease. This post will go over more information about antibody testing and where you can get tested.
What are Antibodies?
According to the CDC, antibodies are proteins that help fight off infection while providing future protection from that disease. An important thing to know about antibodies is that they form to fight a specific disease. This means an antibody for one disease will not protect you from a different disease.
While health officials around the world continue their research on COVID-19 and COVID-19 antibodies, results so far are grim. While most evidence is showing that people do develop antibodies after contracting COVID-19, new studies suggest it is temporary. Despite these findings, researchers stress that a typical immune symptom has other tools to fight disease.
Why You Should Get An Antibody Test
After experiencing COVID-19 systems, especially if you had access to a COVID-19 test, you should seriously consider an antibody test. If you were unable to get tested for COVID-19 when you thought you had symptoms, an antibody test may be able to determine if you had it. Additionally, an antibody test helps health officials understand more about how COVID-19 works and how effective antibodies are. Eventually, researchers can use this information to develop treatments and hopefully a vaccine.
Where To Get An Antibody Test
Since we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the priority so far has been testing for the virus.Unfortunately, there isn’t a list of where you can get an antibody test as there was for regular testing. Fortunately though, some of the same places that test for COVID-19 also offer an antibody test.
Additionally, you can do yourself a favor as well as your community by donating blood. At the Vitalant’s Jefferson Park Collection Center, blood is being collected and screened for COVID-19 antibodies and plasma extraction that is used to treat COVID-19 patients.