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PNP Announces Availability of Antibody Testing for Coronavirus

Posted on: 04/30/2020

PNP announces availability of new antibody testing for Coronavirus

PNP Physicians now have the ability to obtain coronavirus antibody testing for our patients. This test is being done in conjunction with Quest labs and Labcorp and can now be offered to all patients.

It is important to understand what antibody testing means. This is an antibody test that is looking for past exposure to Coronavirus-- this is NOT a test to determine if someone is currently infected with Coronavirus. This test is looking for antibodies our immune system make in response to prior exposure. There are two types of antibodies that our body makes to coronavirus (or other viruses) after exposure. This test looks for the one called IgG, the type that takes several weeks to develop. If your child tests negative, it does NOT necessarily mean that they were not exposed at some point. It just means that this test is not currently detecting the antibodies in their system. If your child tests positive, it likely means that they were exposed and mounted an immune response over the last several weeks. There is the possibility that the test could be a false positive, which can happen when antibodies are made to other Coronaviruses that are similar. There's also no 100% guarantee that they are "immune". We are learning more about this virus each week, and while we are hopeful that these antibodies will help protect against future infection, we cannot guarantee that. We understand that despite these limitations, many patients are anxious to have their children tested for antibodies.

Here is the process for having your child tested:

1) Your child must be without any symptoms related to possible coronavirus for a minimum of 2 weeks. This is to increase the accuracy of the test. This means no fever, no cough, no shortness of breath, no body aches, no other flu like symptoms for a minimum of 2 weeks.

2) If your child meets these criteria, go ahead and call the office to set up a telehealth appointment with one of our physicians. Testing cannot be done without a telehealth appointment to ensure the appropriateness and timing of the testing. If you have multiple children who you would like to have tested, you need to make telehealth appointments for each child separately.

3) If the physician determines testing should occur, they will notify a member of our staff. The staff member will call you to set up the appointment for a blood draw in our office, or will help direct you to a nearby Quest facility.

4) We are not certain how long it will take to obtain the results. Our office will contact you when results are provided to us by Quest.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) Does this test for active Coronavirus infection? Answer: No. This is an antibody test to see if your child was exposed in the past and currently has antibodies against Cornavirus.

2) My child tested positive on the antibody test. Does that mean they are immune from getting it again? Answer: Not necessarily. We are learning more about the virus as time goes on and cannot say for sure that they are immune. It just means they have antibodies.

3) My child tested negative on the antibody test but I swear they had Coronavirus a month ago. How can that be? Answer: There are some false negatives with the testing and it is still possible they had the virus.

Please contact our office to schedule an appointment for telehealth and antibody testing if this is something you are interested in. Please direct any questions you have to the physician you normally see for your well child appointments.

We look forward to continuing to provide you with the pediatric care we expect for our own children.

The Physicians of PNP

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