What to Expect From Your COVID-19 Antibody Test

What to Expect From Your COVID-19 Antibody Test

For the last two years, COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, keeps challenging us. The rise of new variants like Delta and Omicron make staying healthy complicated.

One of the best ways to protect yourself and others from the COVID-19 pandemic, beyond getting vaccinated and boosted, is to stay as informed as possible. That includes getting information about your own past potential infections.

If you think you may have had a case of COVID-19 in the past, recently or even months ago, you can gather more information with antibody testing. The team at GatherWell Rapid COVID Testing of Ham Lake, Elk River, and Edina, Minnesota provide multiple types of COVID-19 testing, including antibody testing.

How does antibody testing work?

Antibody testing shows past infection with COVID-19. You may not have been tested for COVID-19 during the time when you had symptoms, leaving you wondering if you had COVID-19 or not. With antibody testing, you can get important information on your past infections that may have bearing on your current health and immunity.

When your body encounters a virus-borne illness like COVID-19, your immune system springs into action to stop the invading virus. (Vaccines work by giving your immune system a sneak peek at the targeted virus, so that it can learn and adapt to more efficiently fight off future infections.)

Your immune system produces antibodies when it comes in contact with a virus or bacteria. These antibodies remain in your system to help fight off the virus or bacteria the next time you’re exposed. Antibody testing looks for the presence of telltale COVID-19 antibodies to determine if you’ve been infected with this virus in the past.

What to expect during your antibody test

When you come in for antibody testing from GatherWell Rapid COVID Testing, you’re not going to have to deal with a long, complex procedure. We offer in-office and on-site testing, with results available within 20 minutes from our lab.

Antibody testing looks at your blood for signs of past COVD-19 infection, not current infection. You arrive at the time of your appointment, and our lab staff takes a sample of your blood using a finger prick. When you get your results back after a short 20-minute wait, our team can discuss your results with you.

After your antibody test

We’re still learning about COVID-19. The length and strength of your immune response after a COVID-19 infection is unclear, so don’t depend on a previous infection to keep you safe from contracting COVID-19 in the future. Talk to your primary care provider about the steps you should take based on your test results.

Vaccination with one of the multiple safe, effective, and FDA-approved vaccines for COVID-19 is still the best way to protect yourself, your family, your co-workers, and your community from the spread of COVID-19.

GatherWell offers antibody testing by appointment, as well as PCR and rapid testing to look for current infection. Schedule your appointment over the phone or request an appointment online now.

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