Think You’ve Never Had COVID? How to Know for Sure
A lot of people come to GatherWell because they think they’ve never had COVID but want to be sure. Knowing that you’ve already fought off the virus can give you peace of mind and inform how you go about protecting yourself and others from the virus.
COVID-19 antibody testing is a way to determine if a person has previously been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that the body produces in response to an infection. The presence of antibodies in a person’s blood suggests that they have been infected with the virus in the past and may have some level of immunity to it.
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Think You’ve Never Had COVID? Check for These Uncommon Symptoms
If you have felt flu-like symptoms over the past few years and weren’t able to get tested while showing symptoms, then there’s a good chance you’ve had COVID. Research says that about half of Americans have been infected with COVID, and this number is probably low due to unreported cases. But you still may want to get tested if you think you’ve never had COVID before.
One reason why COVID cases go unreported is due to uncommon symptoms. Most cases of COVID manifest like a bad case of the flu, but some cases have completely different symptoms.
There are several uncommon symptoms of COVID-19 that have been reported by some individuals who have been infected with the virus. These symptoms may not be as well-known as the more common symptoms of COVID-19—such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath— but they are still important to be aware of.
Some uncommon symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Loss of taste or smell: This is a symptom that has been reported by many individuals with COVID-19. Some people may experience a complete loss of taste or smell, while others may experience a change in the way things taste or smell.
- Skin rashes or discoloration: Some people with COVID-19 have reported skin rashes or discoloration, such as red or purple spots or patches on the skin.
- Fatigue: Many individuals with COVID-19 report feeling extremely fatigued, even when they have not been physically active.
- Headaches: Some people with COVID-19 experience headaches that are different from the headaches they usually have.
- Nausea and vomiting: Some people have reported experiencing nausea and vomiting, which may be caused by the virus or by medications used to treat it.
- Muscle and joint pain: Some people with COVID-19 have reported experiencing muscle and joint pain, which may be caused by the virus or by medications used to treat it.
If you’ve ever experienced these symptoms or just felt uncharacteristically fatigued for no reason, then you might have had COVID. Get an antibody test to confirm.
Did You Take The Right Antibody Test to See if You’ve Had COVID?
There are two types of COVID-19 antibody tests: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative tests are designed to detect the presence of antibodies, while quantitative tests measure the amount of antibodies in a person’s blood.
Qualitative tests are typically rapid tests that can be done at home or in a doctor’s office. They usually involve a finger prick or a small blood sample, which is then applied to a test strip. The results are usually available within minutes.
Quantitative tests, on the other hand, are typically done in a lab and require a larger blood sample. The results take longer to come back, usually a few days. These tests are also more expensive than qualitative tests.
Both types of tests can be used to determine if a person has previously been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, but quantitative tests are more accurate in determining the amount of antibodies present in a person’s blood. If you think you’ve never had COVID, then we recommend a quantitative antibody test.
Are Antibody Tests 100% Accurate?
It’s important to note that a positive test result does not necessarily mean that a person is immune to the virus. A positive test result only indicates that the person has been infected with the virus in the past or recieved a COVID-19 vaccine. The level of immunity a person has after recovering from COVID-19 is still not well understood, and it’s possible for someone who has recovered from the virus to be reinfected.
Additionally, it’s important to note that a negative test result does not mean that a person has not been infected with the virus. It’s possible for someone to test negative for antibodies even if they have been infected with the virus. This is known as a false negative. False negatives can occur if the test is taken too soon after infection, or if the person’s immune system has not yet produced enough antibodies to be detected by the test.
Finally, different test manufacturers have differing rates of accuracy. Not all tests are equally accurate. Some tests have been shown to have a high rate of false positives and false negatives. It’s important to talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional about which test is best for you and to make sure that the test you are getting is accurate. Thankfully, GatherWell offers a highly-accurate antibody test, and we have in-house labs that process results quickly and carefully.
Think You’ve Never Had COVID? GatherWell Can Help You Know
Let’s schedule your antibody test today. Click here to make a same-day appointment. Simply select your test, location, and time using the button above. See if you have the COVID antibodies today!