Understanding COVID-19, antibody testing

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Coronavirus has been on our minds for months.

But there’s still some confusion about it, and testing for COVID-19 .

There are two types of tests.

The first one is swab-testing which is used to find out if you currently have the virus.

If you’re showing signs and symptoms of the virus this is the test you’ll receive.

These symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficult breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

The second one is a blood test, which shows if you’ve been exposed to the virus, and have developed some degree of immunity against it.

It also helps health experts determine how many people in a population have been infected with COVID-19.

You’ll often hear this referred to as antibody testing.

But health experts say antibody testing doesn’t tell the whole story and can give some a false sense of security.

“Let’s say you test positive for it on the antibody, arguing that you’ve had exposure. We don’t know if the confers protection or immunity, so I think that’s very important to distinguish,” said Dr. Joseph Poterucha, intensive care, Mayo Clinic Health System.

There’s another important reason for the blood test.

It can identify people who have recovered from COVID-19 and may want to donate plasma, which is used to treat other patients with severe COVID-19.