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  • Dr. Stephanie Graham

Testing for COVID-19 Antibodies

Updated: May 1

I wanted to share the latest information regarding the illness COVID-19 (which is caused by the virus known as SARS-CoV-2). Because the scientific and medical communities are learning more every day about this virus, some of the things you're reading may conflict with what you have heard the past few months. Below is the latest information available from reputable sources.


1) The incubation period for COVID-19 appears to be about 4-6 days. This means that you may show no symptoms during this time and it is possible to infect others.


2) About 15-20% of the population may be asymptomatic. They might never realize they caught the disease but can still spread it to others who can become sick.


3) The COVID-19 can spread to others for up to 20-30 days after the initial symptoms appear.


4) Early research revealed three factors that may predict severe illness in COVID-19 cases: 1) elevated liver enzymes, 2) elevated hemoglobin, and 3) having the symptom of muscle aches.


5) The nasal and oral swab test known as RT-PCR testing can be done to confirm whether a patient is currently infected. The "rapid testing" can provide quicker results but is more likely to yield false negatives. This means the patient must follow up with the RT-PCR swab test anyway if the patient is showing symptoms and the rapid test is negative. Unfortunately, because the RT-PCR swab test kits are limited, it may be difficult to get this testing done at all.


6) Some labs are beginning to offer blood serum testing for antibodies to COVID-19. This test looks at your immune system for two different indicators. One can identify if the patient has recently contracted the virus by looking for IgM antibodies, and the other looks for IgG antibodies which suggest past infection and possible partial immunity to reinfection.


Bios Comprehensive Medicine will be offering the COVID-19 antibody test soon to determine if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have antibodies against it. Anyone with current symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or any other respiratory symptoms) will be asked to schedule a Telemedicine visit for the safety of other patients and the facility. Read more about the antibody test here: https://www.usbiotek.com/en-us/covid-19-antibody-test


While we prepare for maximum safety, we will officially announce within the next two weeks when testing will start. Until then, please remember that Bios Comprehensive Medicine continues to offer in-person, phone and Telemedicine visits. It is my priority to continue to take care of the needs of my patients even during these troubling times. I am also able to see new patients using Telemedicine.


Telemedicine consults are video visits that you can do from the comfort of your home. In-office visits are still being offered for new patients, follow-up visits, Acupuncture, Biopuncture (injections for pain) or vitamin/herbal injections. I am abiding by the CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines regarding seeing patients in the office (i.e., cleaning surfaces between patients, limiting the number of people present in the building, proper hand washing, and not seeing patients who are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 in person). If you are feeling sick, a Telemedicine video visit is a great way to address your symptoms and get the care you need without the risk of exposing others. Contact us with any questions.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2762808/incubation-period-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-from-publicly-reported

https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(20)30046-3/fulltext

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554776/#article-52171.s9


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