SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – After months of waiting you can now get tested for coronavirus antibodies even if never showed symptoms.
“People have been speculating for so long. For someone thinking I was sick in February maybe I had it. Well this is going to answer those questions,” said Benjamin Prijatel, senior director of blood operations for LifeShare Blood Center.
An FDA approved antibody test is now available through LifeShare Blood Center locations. This comes after other antibody tests were not FDA approved or accurate enough to be used by LifeShare. To get tested before this you had to be referred by a doctor after showing symptoms of the coronavirus. So it was limited.
“Most people had no idea. They didn’t have a positive test results so this is news to them,” Prijatel said.
Now it’s open to everyone who qualifies to donate blood. About 1,558 tests have been completed so far showing 23 donors had COVID-19 at some point.
“We’ve had a lot of donors who suspected they had it but most of those have turned out to be negative,” Prijatel said.
The process works the same way as donating blood. Which you cannot be sick for. If you meet all the normal requirements you also can find out if you had the coronavirus and your antibodies are donated to hospitals to help sick patients.
The antibody tests provide a clearer understanding of who’s been exposed in the community. Along with bringing in more donors to help the blood supply which dropped drastically in May.
“It’s really given us the boost we needed to help get blood back on the shelves,” Prijatel said.
The results take two weeks to come back. You can download the LifeShare App to find mobile locations near you.
The antibody tests will continue until Sunday at LifeShare Blood Center.