Rapid Covid-19 Antibody Testing – What You Need to Know!

Is it COVID or not?

Severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS-Cov-2 or better known as Covid-19 is the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918! Back then, they didn’t have the options we do now. Today, we offer Rapid Covid-19 Testing, so you can know if you have the virus in just minutes. The virus affects people differently.  Some people experience serious symptoms and must be hospitalized while others are barely sick.

One thing is for sure… people want easy and affordable Coronvirus testing options so they can know if they had the Coronavirus or if they currently have the virus.  

A lot of people were sick earlier this year before we EVEN knew what COVID was. They never had a good diagnosis.  They want to know if it was COVID or not.  Then there are people who are sick now or they have been exposed to someone with COVID and want to know if they have the virus. 

What are antibodies?

When you get a virus, antigens are the foreign agent which use your body as a host and it replicates using your cells.  In response to this, the body will produce IGM antibodies that attack and destroy the antigens. Those antibodies convert to a different type of antibody to keep from contracting the virus again (IGG). There is a delay between contracting the virus and the presence of antigens. Then, there is a delay between the presence of antigens and producing antibodies. 

What are the most common COVID tests?

  1. Nasapharangeal—this is a swab of the nasal cavity and the specimen is sent to a laboratory.  This method of testing is for the antigens which reflect active COVID virus.  Test results are ready anywhere from 7-14 days.  This test is 99.81% accurate.  The results are positive or negative for the virus.
  1. Blood Antibody Testing. This is done with a blood draw that is sent to the lab to be tested for antibodies.  The results are ready in  7-14 days.  This test is 99.5% accurate.  It is positive or negative.
  1. Rapid antibody testing.  This is a fingerstick test that uses just one drop of blood to test for the antibodies.  It is like a pregnancy test.  The results are ready in 10-15 minutes.  These tests are 95-98% accurate.  

What will the Rapid COVID-19 test tell me?

A positive for IGM (antibodies that attack and destroy the virus) means you are an active carrier of the virus.  It usually takes 5-7 days for your body to produce the antibodies but sometimes it can take up to 10 days.

A positive for IGG antibodies means you no longer have the active virus.  It is a past infection and you now have antibodies. You are no longer contagious.

A positive for both IGG and IGM means positive for the active virus and you’re getting toward the end of active infection.

A negative result—No COVID.  BUT, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are negative! You could be an active carrier of the virus but your body hasn’t produced the antibodies to destroy the virus yet.   Even if you don’t have symptoms.  If it has been more than 5-7 days since you were in contact with someone with the active COVID virus, then it is a good probability that you are negative.

As you can see it is complex… So how do you determine what test is right for you? 

Are you sick and know you have been exposed to someone who had a positive COVID test?  

  • You might want to have an antigen test…the nose swab.  But…if that is not available…then you should do an antibody test.  
  • You would want to wait at least 5-7 days from the date of exposure before testing.

If you have been exposed but you do not have any symptoms, 

  • Then you might want to do the rapid antibody test.  But again, you should wait at least 5-7 days to make sure you have developed the antibodies.

ProHealth is here to help you!  Find out more information on your testing options here.

We currently offer Rapid Covid-19 Testing at several of our locations. We also offer telemedicine through our clinics if you are ill and don’t want to come into the office. We will continue to share important information and update our community in an effort to be a health resource during these confusing times.

Together we can make Northwest Florida Strong!