COVID antibody testing underway in Nevada

Published: May. 12, 2020 at 5:54 PM PDT
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We've all seen the pictures of drive up COVID testing.

Samples are taken from a person's nose to detect the presence of the virus.

Those tests usually come back positive or negative.

But now researchers here in Nevada are taking blood samples submitted to detect other medical conditions and looking for antibodies to COVID-19.

“It allows us to at least say, hey with regard to anybody who used the state health lab in the last few months, is there any prevalence of an antibody as we call it, prevalence-percentage of people who have the antibody,” says Dr. Mark Pandori, Director of the Nevada State Health Lab.

Dr. Pandori says the samples are from January to March of this year.

A total of 3,500 tests will be run from samples from throughout the state.

He says the tests could tell us if the virus was in our community before we ever knew it. And he says it can indicate just how fatal more-or-less the virus is.

The tests however are not available to the general public or to those who believe they had the virus earlier in the year as they may have suffered from flu-like symptoms.

“And I understand there is a temptation, and a curiosity,” says Dr. Pandori. “But to try and utilize this resource to satisfy a curiosity is not a good idea when we are still trying to mobilize our public health and medical resources just to get our economy going again,” he says.

Dr. Pandori says his lab should have some results from this antibody testing within the next month.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020

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