We already know that people showing symptoms have been tested for the COVID-19 and that there could be people who are infected without exhibiting any symptoms. Scientists have now come up with a way of finding out if a person who has already been infected has developed immunity towards the deadly virus.

The scientists at Mt. Sinai University in New York have designed the first-ever test in the U.S., which can detect the COVID-19 antibodies in the blood. Although there is no clarity yet as to how long the immunity will last, the coronavirus antibodies can be detected in a person’s blood about a week after the person gets infected.

Experts from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China reported that nearly 59% of the infected people weren’t aware that they were infected and went on to infect others as they moved about the city. Likewise, those passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship also never showed symptoms despite being infected, mentioned Newsmax.

People whose blood tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies are unlikely to be re-infected and might be able to return to work. It also signals health officials that they can relax restrictions on movement, business and social contact without risking a steep uptick in the transmission of the deadly coronavirus.

If the disease behaves similarly to the way it has in China, over 80% of patients in the U.S. will exhibit only mild symptoms which are similar to the flu symptoms such as fever, coughing and body aches.

“If a sizable portion of a local community has some protection, authorities can be more confident in relying less on invasive measures. Once deployed, serological tests are cheap, straightforward, and easy to scale,” Leapsmag quoted former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

Here are some key findings of the new testing:

  • Research labs and hospitals can do this test but they need basic lab equipment and materials.
  • People visiting hospitals with a suspected COVID-19 infection can take this test.
  • Healthcare workers and essential workers such as doctors, nurses and firefighters need to be tested first. They can go back to work when they know they cannot spread the disease.
  • The test can detect antibodies only after 7 days of being infected.
  • The test is very accurate since human beings do not have baseline immunity until they have been infected.
coronavirus home testing kit
coronavirus home testing kit geralt - pixabay