Local doctor explains COVID-19 antibody tests

HOUSTON- Molecular tests for COVID-19 are the ones we are now used to hearing about. The tests involve a nasal swab and should tell you if you have the virus or not.

Antibody tests for COVID-19 are becoming more popular as health officials work to understand how widespread this virus is.

Dr. Foye Ikyaator, the Medical Director at Life Savers Emergency Room, explains how antibody tests can be helpful.

"A lot of healthcare workers are getting it, people who work out in the public. A lot of people are still out working because they are considered essential workers, so they are dealing with the public everyday and they want to know if they have any immunity or any sort of protection against this," explained Dr. Foye.

This antibody test will show if your body has been exposed to COVID-19. Dr. Foye explains here what a positive result means.

"It means that your body does have some immunity, your body does have some fighting proteins against it. It doesn't mean that you can't get re-infected. It doesn't mean that you can't get sick, but your body has the fighting power against it," said Dr. Foye.

So if you have antibodies, can you get right back to work? Dr. Foye says that is not necessarily the case.

"Those patients need to have additional testing if they are positive to know if they are still shedding virus, if they are still infectious. It does require some counseling on the results for people because everybody's situation is different," explained Dr. Foye.

At Dr. Foye's clinic, the tests are done in a drive-through setting. Patients will get their finger pricked and find out the results in about ten minutes.

"The tests that we are offering have 97% accuracy and they have FDA emergency use authorization which means that the FDA has approved under emergency use conditions which is what we are using them for right now," said Dr. Foye.

As we continue to learn more about this virus, Dr. Foye says she does not think this is the time to cut back on precautions.

"I think we need to appreciate that yes, its low, we are doing a great job, but if we get lax and start opening up things too fast then the healthcare system is going to be oversaturated. I think our lives are way more valuable than the financial impact this is going to have on us," said Dr. Foye.

Dr. Foye says the antibody tests are covered by most insurance companies. They are $150 at her clinic if you do not have insurance.

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