Sharon Delaney, CNM, ARNP, MPH
Integrating her knowledge of the relationship between public health and personal health to provide holistic women’s healthcare, Sharon brings her expertise to her current women’s health practice at Spokane Valley Holistic Healing, and is excited to offer antibody testing to the community.
We are pleased to report a high level of interest in covid-19 antibody testing. It’s great to see so many of you being proactive in learning whether or not you have been infected with covid-19. And, though there isn’t yet proof that having antibodies protects a person from getting reinfected, it appears more and more promising that immunity has some protective effect.
There are many reasons patients want to know if they have antibodies against SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19. Chief among these is a desire to donate antibodies to covid-19 patients who are very ill. Research is showing a beneficial effect when treating critically ill patients with an infusion of antibodies. For those in whom antibodies are detected, you can find out more about donating antibodies at this website:
Interestingly, approved antibody tests are more accurate than the covid-19 nose and throat swab PCR tests. A person who is sick with covid-19 has a significant chance of having a false-negative PCR test result (meaning you are infected with covid-19 but the test says you are not). Factors that affect results include how many days since you were first infected, the level of experience of the person obtaining the swab, and the type of sample taken (saliva, nose, throat, or deep lung sample).
Antibody testing, which is done more than 2 weeks after a person has recovered from their illness, is quite accurate. If your blood test shows you have antibodies, it is highly unlikely to be wrong. We are currently using two labs, LabCorp and Boston Heart Diagnostics. Both have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA. Both labs report sensitivity of 95% or more. At this time, we do not recommend any home test kits for antibody testing.
We continue to advise patients in the following situations to have a covid-19 PCR test:
If you get a negative covid-19 PCR test result (reporting you do not have covid-19) but feel very ill, self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider. Also, call 911 if you have difficulty breathing, chest pain, blue-tinged fingers, toes, or around the mouth, pronounced persistent headache, or signs of stroke (numbness/weakness, especially on one side, sudden difficulty with vision, confusion, trouble speaking, loss of balance).
(*Symptoms of covid-19 include: fever, shaking chills, loss of taste/smell, shortness of breath, chest pain, dry cough, headache, fatigue/malaise, sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, body rash, toe rash.)
To read about Labcorp’s testing:
To read about Eurofin/Boston Heart antibody testing:
WA State DOH info about antibody testing: