CDC warns about false positive from coronavirus antibody test

Some healthcare professionals still encouraging people to get COVID-19 antibody test despite some tests not working

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There is a growing concern about just how accurate coronavirus antibody tests really are.

“We don’t have a standard test that you know is going to be correct, and to test this test against that’s a standard test because there’s no standard test right now,” Dr. Jacob Wood, a family medicine specialist with Baton Rouge General hospital, says.

Dr. Wood says the test, which determines if a person has been previously infected with COVID-19, are not all equal.

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“There are a lot of tests available, [but] there are just a handful [of antibody tests] that have actually gotten emergency use authorization,” Wood says.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidance for antibody testing, saying the tests are not accurate enough to help make important policy decisions and should not determine who is able to return to shared spaces.

“It gives you a lot of information in terms of not only what risk do you personally have but what risk you pose to other people," Woods explains.

Woods says taking the right test can still be beneficial for you and others, especially those who are currently fighting the virus.

One person who benefited from the coronavirus antibodies through a plasma fusion is now recovering in therapy.

“I can tell he’s much better he’s even beginning to smile. From the beginning when he was so very sick and not responding well and he got to a plateau where he just was not getting any better,” Vivian Anderson explains about her husband Ronnie Anderson.

Fortunately, Anderson and her son were able to give their loved one plasma with antibodies from COVID-19 after their own bout with the virus.

“The very first day we could see a difference. He was responding to some commands he was doing a little bit more in physical therapy and. From then he has never looked back he has continually gotten better every single day,” Anderson says.

”The important thing is that you make sure whatever test you are getting done that they would be one of the ones that has had the emergency use authorization. That’s going to increase the odds of that being a better [test]," Woods says.

Woods recommends individuals getting an antibody test check with their health care provider for the most accurate test.

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