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Thread: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

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    Default Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Is there any benefit to knowing if you had a "no-symptom" case of it earlier this year?

    They say they aren't even sure how much you're protected against reinfection, although I assume if you have been infected you'll have some degree of short or medium-term immunity, so knowing that you've already had it might provide some reassurance. And if you find out that you haven't had it that might prompt you to be more aggressive in protecting yourself. Or maybe cause more anxiety. Tough to say.

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    A coworker's brother was administered both the active infection and antibody tests before he could see his dentist for a cleaning. The dentist is one of the few in the County who is a medicaid dental provider.

    I intend to get an antibody test. I can likely trace the source of possible past infection and that could help with the whole canary in the coal mine method. Which is to say at least a few of the people in my little January Cluster can breathe easy and not expect to be reinfected or experience chronic illness. Of course there was that speculation that some of the younger patients with catastrophic outcomes were likely reinfections.....
     

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    I talked with a doctor friend yesterday who recommended the test made by Roche and processed by Quest Diagnostics.

    I am going to donate blood in ten days or so and will be tested then.
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    I'll get tested as soon as I can even if there is a modest fee.
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    I did - negative. My health system (in NJ, pretty hard hit) did an antibody study currently being written up for publication. We antibody tested 2000 employees, a mix of front line and not (study was open to all employees and board members). Overall antibody positive rate was 7% with about half being asymptomatic and the other half having mild-moderate symptoms at some point or being frankly ill. When large scale population testing is done, I doubt we'll see large numbers of antibody positive numbers in patients who were not ill.

    Overall, we've had about 150 employees infected (antigen positive - clinical testing, not the antibody research study) out of about 4500 - i.e. 3%, thankfully no mortality with two requiring ICU care. About half or so can be traced to community exposure, a little less than half occupational. Our numbers are in line with what other health care facilities have seen. That's why I found the VSalon poll here surprising where 2/3 expect to get infected despite the fact that most of you sheltered, etc. Even among folks occupationally swimming in virus (albeit with PPE), the infection rate is low single digits.

    Putting these two observations together, there is good news and bad news. The bad: there won't be herd immunity until there's a vaccine. The good: excluding the frail (nursing home patients, etc.), infection in MOST is not severe. (Please no flames, I said most, not all and am very cognizant of the human toll.) Using this to inform my personal life, I'm done considering it and living life as normal outside of work which remains hectic administratively. Recognizing that there's a lot of emotion attached to this and that I have no right to impose my personal risk tolerance on others, I social distance, mask, etc. outside. But to be clear, I do this for citizenship, not infection prevention. Even the New England Journal of Medicine has referred to cloth masks as 'a talisman.'

    As always, ATMO/YMMV.
    Lou D'Amelio
    Bucks County PA

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Lou - not to make you a spokesman for testing, but a friend, who was very sick with something with a lot of covid-like symptoms - and was assumed by his doctor to have covid - got a negative back on the antibody test. And his doctor told him that the antigen test is not conclusive, that a variety of tests are being used and results are not yet consistent enough to be considered absolute proof one way or the other.

    Does that sound right?
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Quote Originally Posted by ldamelio View Post
    Even the New England Journal of Medicine has referred to cloth masks as 'a talisman.'
    Until we all have N95 masks, that's about right IMHO.

    The cloth mask is more about reminding people to physically distance, again IMHO.

    Most people do not know that the surgical mask is one of many protections hospitals use to protect patients from germs they may get from doctors, nurses, and other people in an otherwise sterile surgical room and thus has little protection, if any, for the wearer.

    The N95 mask is supposed to block 95% of contagions for the wearer.


    As for the test(s), I would like to see a much lower false positive rate before I consider it.
     

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    (Responding to Jorn 2 posts above)

    In general, yes. Caveat - I am a clinician (trauma/surgical critical care) turned health system administrator and not a lab scientist. The tests seem to be pretty good at detecting antibodies, but it's not a binary answer. My pathologist friend tells me that some of the tests are better than others. He was one of the two leads on our study and chose what he represents as the best antibody test available. He regaled me with the technical details but it made my eyes bleed (that's why I became a trauma surgeon - short attention span - I'm quick or you're dead.) The thresholds for positivity are still being worked out. I'm not sure about possible cross-reactivity of the antibody test with other common coronaviruses. Also, The FDA has (of necessity) allowed tests to be rolled out with lower sensitivity/specificity thresholds than would ordinarily be required. So in short, it's possible that your friend had Covid-19 but also possible (and maybe even more likely) that he just had a bad non-Covid-19 illness. The symptoms are pretty non-specific and can be caused by a number of other viruses.
    Lou D'Amelio
    Bucks County PA

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    It's $10 here, I'm scheduling one.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Quote Originally Posted by ldamelio View Post
    I did - negative. My health system (in NJ, pretty hard hit) did an antibody study currently being written up for publication. We antibody tested 2000 employees, a mix of front line and not (study was open to all employees and board members). Overall antibody positive rate was 7% with about half being asymptomatic and the other half having mild-moderate symptoms at some point or being frankly ill. When large scale population testing is done, I doubt we'll see large numbers of antibody positive numbers in patients who were not ill.
    Lou, does 7% seem to be within the expected range for the employee population of your health system? In USC's random sample of LA County residents, thirty-five individuals out of 865 (4.06%) tested positive.
     

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Yes of course I will.

    Lou, the Vsalon poll was created early on. In it's own way the poll reflects both before we knew and now what we think we know.

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    The two studies would seem to agree, especially correlated with our employee antigen testing. While we will need large scale population testing to validate, it looks like maybe 4% of people have had asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic infection. I suspect this will wind up, like many things, varying regionally given the broad range of demographics in the US population (population density, living conditions, pre-existing disease clustering, etc).

    Lou
    Lou D'Amelio
    Bucks County PA

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Lou, the Vsalon poll was created early on. In it's own way the poll reflects both before we knew and now what we think we know.
    Excellent point, as usual.
    Lou D'Amelio
    Bucks County PA

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    I'll be taking a drive-thru test on June 26th as a requirement for my June 29th microdiscectomy... Otherwise I wasn't planning on it.
    DT

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    I took one. Sad to fail. :( But, yeah, like others have pointed out, doesn't mean I didn't have COVID, just that I don't have antibodies, according to that test.
     

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Absolutely, as long as it was one with high accuracy.

    As far as what it means? Well, the more of us who get our results the better idea the epidemiologists will have.
    GO!

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    Red face Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    --- i took the killer test at the VA hospital..
    up the nose and back through the throat..
    i've been violated...

    my 3/4 century+.., along with major exposure to agent orange brought their concern...
    damn, sooo many obese vets...
    i exercise daily and keep my body fat/weight down...
    miss riding more than i can express...

    hope all my friends and your families are safe and healthy
    ronnie
     

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Tollefson View Post
    I'll be taking a drive-thru test on June 26th as a requirement for my June 29th microdiscectomy... Otherwise I wasn't planning on it.
    This will be an antigen test to look for current infection, not an antibody test.
    Lou D'Amelio
    Bucks County PA

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    I took one. Sad to fail. :( But, yeah, like others have pointed out, doesn't mean I didn't have COVID, just that I don't have antibodies, according to that test.
    I may have missed it, but were you a known positive? If not, then you are highly unlikely to have had COVID19. As an example from an unpublished study. 80 known positive patients were tested on an IgG assay from company X and 78 came back positive for IgG. The 2 negatives were asymptomatic.

    Within "clinical lab scientist" private forums, we are seeing that, fortunately, a vast majority of the population has not been exposed.

    Also, some of the small rapid antibody tests designed for small office or clinic use appear to be very inaccurate. However, most of the major players with large scale testing are very very accurate (not mentioning names).

    To answer the OP, I have access and haven't gotten tested yet. I've seen enough data to suggest that it's highly unlikely that I had COVID19 in the last few months. I even had a mystery illness back in February with fever, chills, nausea, AND tested negative on a respiratory panel. If I did find out that I was in the minority and tested positive, I'm not quite sure how I would handle that information.
    Will Neide (pronounced Nighty, like the thing worn to bed)

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    Default Re: Would you take the C-19 antibody test if it were available to you at no cost?

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    I talked with a doctor friend yesterday who recommended the test made by Roche and processed by Quest Diagnostics.

    I am going to donate blood in ten days or so and will be tested then.
    It’s interesting...when I donated blood at the NY Blood Center about a month ago they didn’t test. They didn’t even ask any questions. They did take my temperature. Also, they were desperate for folks who had had the virus and wanted them to donate plasma.

    On the OP, both my wife and I had the test for the virus done at a NY State drive in place in Brooklyn this week. We both were negative. When we inquired about the antibody test we were told it is done at Quest or another site. But they said (not quite but the implication was there) “why bother it isn’t going to change how you need to act.”

    Back to blood donation for a moment...I know that I keep seeing/ hearing “WE NEED BLOOD DONATIONS NOW” yet when I went to make an appointment the NY Blood Center and the Red Cross were so booked up we couldn’t get an appointment for weeks. That just seems inconsistent to me.
    Jon Mandel

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