If you are experiencing symptoms of high fever, shortness of breath, or chest pain it is suggested to immediately contact your primary care provider or go to the nearest emergency department for evaluation.
Information is constantly updated re: COVID. Please check resources like the CDC website for the most up to date and accurate information.
When you get your results you will see this table. The antigen being tested (the protein found in SARS-COVID-2) is the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the S1 spike protein. This is then tested across your immune system response ( proteins in your immune system that are activated to fight off a foreign invader) which would initiate an increase in your IgM and or IgG response to your immune system depending if and when you were exposed to the virus. If your results show negative in the first section ( as seen below) you have had no prior exposure or infection to COVID-19.
If you test positive to either one of these antibodies as seen in the first section of the lab report (Ultrasonic COVID-19 antibodies), the lab will then be prompted to run a quantitative value report, to determine the degree of antibodies presenting in a numerical value, as seen below. Based on this number, we are able to determine how strong of an immune response you have in hopes of keeping your antibodies to help with some degree of long term protection. Again, antibody testing is still being tested against our current data, and cannot give any certainty if you have any immunity to the virus, but rather gives us more insight into how strong of an immune response your body has elicited.
POSITIVE FOR IgM ANTIBODIES
This signifies that you have previously been exposed to COVID-19. If your value is greater than 1 we assume you may have an active infection, and would recommend that you proceed with getting the PCR nasal swab that is offered in our clinic to give an actual diagnosis of COVID-19 and self quarantine for 14 days in order to prevent any potential spread of the virus.
If the quantitative value in this section of the quantitative antibody is less than 1, then it is not recommended to quarantine. Your body simply was exposed to the virus, but the exposure was not strong enough to elicit a strong immune response to develop a long term antibody response nor are you contagious.
POSITIVE FOR IgG ANTIBODIES
This signifies that you have previously been exposed to COVID-19 and have developed what we would presume some long term immunity to the virus. Any positive result (greater than 1) for COVID-19 Quantitative Antibody indicates a presumed longer-term immunity against COVID-19 and previous exposure. The presence of IgG is indicative of longer-term immunity to the virus, however at this time we have no idea of how robust that immunity is, or how long it will last.
Timeline of when antibodies are produced (produced from available data at this time, will not be the same in each individual case).
IgM: Phase 1. Day 1-10 of infection. Any positive result for COVID-19 Quantitative Antibody greater than 1 signifies that your body most likely recently mounted an immune reaction to an active infection. Although antibody test results do not test for active infection, you should consider self-quarantine for 14 days as you may be contagious and could risk spreading COVID-19 to anyone you come in contact with.
IgG: Phase 3. Longer term antibody development against COVID-19. Isolation is not recommended if you have been asymptomatic for 7 days and no fever for 3 days (off of all fever-reducing meds). Any positive result (greater than 1) for COVID-19 Quantitative Antibody indicates a presumed longer-term immunity against COVID-19 and previous exposure. The presence of IgG is indicative of longer-term immunity to the virus, however at this time we have no idea of how robust that immunity is, or how long it will last.
Please remember that we are learning more about this virus daily. There are big questions around how long someone is contagious and how that determination is made. The above recommendations are made from extrapolation from currently available data points.
Important points to remember regarding the diagnosis of COVID19: Negative results do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly for patients who have been in contact with known infected persons or in areas with high prevalence of active infection. Follow-up testing with a molecular diagnostic test (ie nasal swab) is necessary to make a diagnosis of COVID19. Results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection. False positive results may rarely occur due to cross-reacting antibodies from previous infections, such as other coronaviruses, or from other causes. Samples with positive results should be confirmed with alternative testing method(s) and clinical findings before a diagnostic determination is made.
SAMPLE PCR TEST
CDC & ISOLATION RECOMMENDATIONS IF YOU TEST POSITIVE
Persons with laboratory-confirmed antibodies to COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue isolation when at least 7 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic (PCR) test and have had no subsequent illness provided they remain asymptomatic and have been fever-free (off fever-reducing medications) for three days. Please check the CDC website for the most updated information:
WILL YOU PRESCRIBE MEDICATION IF YOU TEST POSITIVE?
No. It is very difficult to get some of the medications that are being used to treat COVID-19 and have been reserved for patients who are in critical condition. All medications have side effects, and should be taken if absolutely necessary. Please be sure to discuss your results and work with your primary care physician regarding the treatment of any symptoms.
CDC & ISOLATION RECOMMENDATIONS IF I TEST NEGATIVE
Maintain appropriate social distance (6 feet)
Wash your hands often
Cover your mouth & nose with a cloth mask when around others
Clean & disinfect your items & home regularly
Please check their website for the most updated information.
I'VE BEEN AROUND PEOPLE WHO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE TO COVID, HOW CAN I POSSIBLY TEST NEGATIVE?
The best way to know if you have an immune response to COVID is through antibody testing. You may have had exposure, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you became infected. There is, however, a chance that your body may have not yet mounted an antibody response and you are in the early stages of having the virus (antibodies may not be detected in the first 3-7 days of having the virus). If you are feeling symptomatic we recommended retesting with the nasal swab test (PCR) which is the gold standard for diagnosis of COVID19.
I HAVE TESTED POSITIVE, WHEN CAN I SAFELY GO BACK IN PUBLIC?
The CDC recommends a 14-day quarantine if you have been exposed to the virus. Please see the CDC website for the latest guidance on quarantine timelines and procedures, as this information is constantly changing as we learn more about the virus. Please also remember to always follow local and state social distancing and other safety protocols.