Do you think you had COVID despite negative testing? What to know about anti-code tests

The omicron variant of COVID-19 has caused an increase in symptoms and positive cases in the United States, and because some of the symptoms resemble a common cold, one question some ask is: had I COVID?

That question is further illustrated when you consider the reliability of tests at home, as well as the difficulty of finding tests at home.

If you have experienced symptoms and tested negative, but still think you had COVID-19, you can take an antibody or serology test, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can look for antibodies that fight the coronavirus in your blood. .

Health experts have warned against using an antibody test to diagnose COVID or determine immunity.

“An antibody test may not show if you have a topical infection, as it may take 1 to 3 weeks after infection for your body to produce antibodies,” says the CDC.

In addition, anyone who has been vaccinated will have antibodies. The immune system produces antibodies, like egg whites, to help prevent infections after you have been infected with COVID-19 or after you have been vaccinated against the virus.

“(An antibody test) alone can not be used for a diagnosis of a previous COVID infection,” said Dr. Sandra Adams, a biology and virology professor at Montclair State University, “because a positive antibody test will also detect the antibodies produced as a result of vaccination.”

How to get an antibody test

You can get an antibody test through your doctor, healthcare provider, and standalone labs like Labcorp or Quest.

It is advisable to check with your doctor or other health care professional to see if you are eligible for an antibody test.

The US Food and Drug Administration recently warned that certain antibody tests carry a high risk of false results.

When not to get an antibody test

The CDC states that there are several cases in which taking an antibody test is not recommended:

  • If you are currently infected with COVID-19
  • To determine immunity to COVID-19 after vaccination
  • To decide if someone should get a fax

Related stories about the omicron variant and COVID-19:

Which mask is best for protection against the omicron variant of COVID?

Are my symptoms omicron variant of COVID like a cold?

The omicron variant symptoms to look out for when you are fully vaccinated

Omicron variant: These are the most common symptoms

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at krodriguez@njadvancemedia.com. Do you have a tip? Tell us nj.com/tips.

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