Antibody testing expands, but concerns remain

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – Right now there are more than 20,000 people who are presumed recovered from the Coronavirus in Louisiana, but there could be more. Antibody testing is a tool to help track the virus.

“That will help with knowing how accurate our tests are. Will help with making vaccines or even if a vaccine is necessary depending on what the total prevalence of the disease has been,” said Dr. Taylor Sanders with Neighborhood Health Clinics.

Neighborhood Health Clinics started antibody testing Monday. An antibody test will determine if your body makes proteins to fight the Coronavirus.

Baton Rouge General just expanded its antibody testing to several clinics. In the nearly two weeks since the testing started, there have been 904 tests done, Only 4.5% of them were postitive.

“Certainly it gives us some good indication of the prevalence of the virus in the community,” said Dr. Jacob Wood with Baton Rouge General.

Dr. Wood explained it’s still too early to know what a positive test result really means.

Dr. Wood added, “CDC and the World Health Organization have not, at this point, said that having antibodies will mean that you have immunity to the virus.”

Dr. Sanders added, “Could be an antibody from another type of coronavirus that would cause the common cold and not the novel coronavirus that’s causing COVID-19. We don’t really know if that’s the case yet.”

The antibody tests cost about $100 and are covered by most insurance plans. It takes about 48 hours to get results.

To find a Neighborhood Health clinic, click here.

To find a testing site at a Baton Rouge General clinic, click here

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