Covid-19

Coronavirus Antibody Testing Could Do More Harm Than Good, Physicians Claim

Even though it’s been around for some time now, some physicians believe that the COVID-19 antibody test might do more harm than good to the people living under the pandemic.

COVID-19 Antibody Test Do More Harm Than Good

The antibody test has been around for quite some time now, even gaining some traction in the last few months as growing number of people started using it in order to check whether they’re immune from the coronavirus or not.

With that being said, some physicians believe that at the moment it’s still too early to actually find a definitive use for it, much less fully understand the data surrounding it. Initially, the hope for the test is to check a person’s immunity from the coronavirus by checking how their body reacts to it. However, this hasn’t been substantiated yet so there’s no way of telling whether it’s really effective or not.

Per Dr. Valerie Scott, a physician with Roper St. Francis Healthcare, there are three things to look for when it comes to any type of testing. The first is ‘what is the probability that this test is going to be positive’ then ‘how am I going to interpret it’ and ‘will it change behavior.’ Unfortunately, the antibody test fails all three of these categories.

"You aren’t going to change your behavior based on it, right? You’re not an acutely infected—so you don’t need to be isolated. You’re not going to say yeah I’ve had it—I don’t need to wear a mask, I don’t need to worry about these precautions because you could maybe get it again. We don’t know that the antibody test confers immunity," Dr. Scott said.

 Per Dr. Scott, the only way the antibody tests will be more accurate is if we will see more COVID-19 infections. Otherwise, a test coming back negative might just mean that you have not come into contact with the virus in an infectious way.

"I don’t think that we’re at a point where we can really utilize it to say oh all you people that are COVID positive—Antibody positive—you can come back to school, these other people have to stay online—no we’re not there yet," she added.

COVID-19 antibody test The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a guidance saying antibody tests may not always provide accurate results to identify COVID-19 infections. Pixabay

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