I wanted to know if I could safely visit my mother and give her a hug, so I let strangers stick needles in my arm. advertisement advertisement Unfortunately, both of those blood tests for novel-coronavirus antibodies came out negative, meaning I remain vulnerable to being infected and infecting others. (Sorry, Mom.) But at least I learned something about how this testing works and what it can reveal. Antibody tests, also called serological tests, differ from the diagnostic tests that check for the virus’s genetic material. Instead of showing where the virus is today, they reveal where it’s been, as seen in the virus-fighting antibodies that your body develops two weeks or so after a novel-coronavirus infection. These tests also feature a less invasive patient experience. Instead of having a swab inserted uncomfortably far up your nose, you sit through a quick blood draw from a vein in your arm. But for months, serological tests were as hard to schedule as the first diagnostic tests. It didn’t help when companies rushed to ship inaccurate tests after the Food and Drug Administration eased its usual approval process to try to cope with the coronavirus crisis. The FDA has since revoked many of… Read full this story
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