Coronavirus: Quest Diagnostics launches direct-to-consumer Covid-19 antibody testing service

Antibody tests don't guarantee immunity but doctors say a positive test indicates a patient has developed some level of protection from reinfection

Quest Diagnostics on Tuesday announced that individuals need not visit a doctor and can opt for an online coronavirus antibody test. Quest Diagnostics' launch of direct-to-consumer Covid-19 antibody testing service is in a bid to broaden coronavirus screening and break the logjam in diagnostic testing.

An antibody test doesn't assure immunity but shows if someone has been exposed to or potentially had the coronavirus and developed the antibodies to fight the virus. The tests so long weren't available in all states but now individuals will have access to it, if they wish, online, with results expected in a couple of days.

Quest makes Covid-19 antibody test accessible

Quest Diagnostics
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The coronavirus antibody test, which uses blood serum, weren't available in all US states. However, individuals can now skip a doctor's visit for the test and opt for Quest Diagnostics' direct-to-consumer antibody test online. Customers can get the Covid-19 antibody test done at GetQuest Test for $119.

However, the antibody test will be done only after Quest screens the patients online and finds it necessary to do a test. Once Quest finds that an individual needs an antibody test, it will then send them to have their blood drawn at one of its 2,200 laboratories. The antibody test results are available in one to two days.

Test can be helpful for many

US behind coronavirus outbreak
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Despite tests beings carried out in large numbers in the United States, coronavirus cases have been on the rise. Governors of different states including New York have been saying that more tests needs to be done to detect people affected with the Covid-19 virus. Hospitals and laboratories too have been struggling to conducts tests for both coronavirus and antibody tests. Quest Diagnostics' online antibody test is definitely going to make things easier.

Although antibody tests don't guarantee immunity, medical practitioners and doctors say that a positive antibody test indicates that a patient has developed some level of protection from reinfection. According to Quest, the antibody test can prove to be beneficial for those who were not infected by the Covid-19 virus but believe that they may had at some point been exposed to the deadly virus or those were once affected by coronavirus but to determine if they body produced antibodies to fight against the virus.

The World Health Organization, however, has said that it is still not known if coronavirus antibodies guarantee immunity or reduce the risk of infection. A large number of biotech companies are investing huge amount in antibody testing, expecting that it will help boost the confidence of millions of people to step out of their house and go back to work.

In fact, many countries are also issuing immunity passports or risk-free certificates to individuals who have developed antibodies against Covid-19, allowing them to travel and work. A random test done on 7,500 people at a grocery store in New York to check if they have developed antibodies against coronavirus revealed that 14.9% have likely been affected by Covid-19, indicating that they had the virus and also recovered from it.

Related topics : Coronavirus