Who would have thought that, more than twelve months after it first made an appearance, the COVID-19 pandemic would still be affecting our day-to-day lives. In March last year, the UK government announced the first lockdown, forcing many businesses to close and people to isolate themselves to avoid the spread of the deadly virus that has claimed and affected millions of lives across the world.
While things appear to be slowly moving forward towards some kind of normal life, individuals are still having to take precautions to help keep themselves and others safe and it’s likely that they will have to do so for quite some time.
By maintaining good levels of hygiene, with regular hand washing and more frequent cleaning regimes, and adhering to strict social distancing guidelines, we can continue to keep ourselves and others safe. Self isolating when we or someone we know has been exposed to the virus can also help to stop the virus spreading. But what about when we, or the people we come into contact with, have the virus, but don’t show any symptoms?
Testing for COVID-19
Just because an individual is asymptomatic, it doesn’t mean they can’t carry and spread the virus. That is why we are being encouraged to test ourselves and employees for COVID-19. There are currently two types of COVID-19 tests available; ones that show if you currently have the virus and one that tests for antibodies to see if you have already had the virus.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Antibody Testing
Antibodies are substances that your body produces in response to viruses and other infections in your blood. They are one of the ways in which your body fights disease. COVID-19 antibody tests are used to detect if your body has produced any antibodies in response to the COVID-19 virus.
What do COVID-19 Antibody Test Results Mean?
A positive COVID-19 antibody test indicates that you have already had the virus, even if you did not have any symptoms. COVID-19 antibodies show that your body has responded to the virus, even if you didn’t feel ill or were unaware that you had it.
Knowing this information helps us to understand how many of the population have already had the virus. While the test is not guaranteed to identify everyone who has had the virus, it does help scientists and medical experts to understand how the virus is passed around.
Even if you test positive for antibodies, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are immune to the virus and you should remain vigilant. It is still unknown how long the antibodies can work against the virus or if having antibodies means you can’t still pass the virus on to others.
As more tests are collected, we will be able to understand the virus better so we can regain control and return to normal life as soon as possible.