Health

COVID-19: Sero Tests

Why serological surveys are the key to understanding the full scope of the outbreak and opening America back up again.

Health

BACKSTORY

Current data on COVID-19 is limited.

The U.S. gov’t reports how many people have been tested, how many test positive or negative, and total deaths.

We don’t know how many people have COVID-19 but have minor or no symptoms (asymptomatic).

Bottom Line: We have an incomplete picture of COVID-19 in America.

Health

Why Sero Tests Matter

“We can test people to see if they’ve been exposed, immune, and go back to work.  And a combination of that kind of test with the current kind of tests we have now is how America opens back up again.”

Admiral Girior MD, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during a COVID-19 Task Force briefing.
Health

Sero Tests 101

Serological (aka “sero”) tests or surveys are blood tests that measure specific antibodies produced by your immune system in response to an infection.

The antibody is evidence that a person has been exposed to an infection (whether or not they ever showed symptoms) – and *may* have immunity.

Health

Why It Matters

  • Current knowledge of COVID-19 is *largely* based on people who test positive – they tend to be the most sick.
  • If more people than previously thought had prior exposure to COVID-19, it may help relax public health measures, e.g. social distancing.
  • If fewer people had exposure to COVID-19, it may increase the need for public health measures until there’s a clinically tested treatment or vaccine.

 

Health

“…someone who’s recovered from the virus and doesn’t have the virus in their system at all, you can take plasma…that plasma contains the proteins in the blood that have the antibodies against the virus.  You can take that, process it, and then give it to someone who’s ill.  And so that allows you to transfer that immunity.”

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn on a potential treatment for COVID-19 - another reason why sero tests matter.
Health

A Warning

Members of the COVID-19 Task Force have warned about the reliability of sero tests currently on the market.

Dr. Birx warned Americans against purchasing sero tests on the internet.

Admiral Girior referenced a report that the UK purchased millions of tests that may not work.

Health

The FDA granted emergency use authorization to one serological test. Results are available within 15 to 20 min. On Monday, Adm. Giroir M.D. said he expects to have millions of antibody tests available by May, but he wants to ensure the tests are accurate before widespread use.

view sources

Read

Sources

COVID-19:FDA Approves Emergency Use Treatment: CLICK HERE

COVID-19: Lessons From The Past: CLICK HERE

COVID-19: Patient Zero: CLICK HERE