We Talk About - An Antibody Test For Coronavirus

YOU South Africa|4 June 2020

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We Talk About - An Antibody Test For Coronavirus
The British government has announced it has approved an antibody test which will now be used in hospitals in Britain. The test was developed by Swiss company Roche and has been provisionally approved by the European Union and the USA. Roche has since announced it is preparing its factory and laboratory to manufacture millions of these tests a month for countries that wish to purchase them.
Suzaan Hall

What’s an antibody test?

Instead of testing for the virus itself, this test searches for antibodies (proteins your body makes in response to infections) that fight the virus. If these antibodies are present in your blood, it means you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. To do the test, a doctor or nurse draws a sample of blood and sends it away for testing.

Why are people being tested?

Some say it will help countries return to normal more quickly if they know who’s had the virus and recovered. The argument is that people who’ve had the virus but didn’t get very sick – or didn’t get sick at all – can possibly return to work because they have a smaller chance of getting seriously ill.

The results of such tests can also give governments and health services an indication of places where the virus has spread to many people. This would make it easier to prevent the virus from spreading further and to identify areas of the country where the lockdown can be lifted.

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4 June 2020