Bloomberg: It’s Time to Start Testing for Wuhan Virus Immunity
From Bloomberg via Yahoo:
Antibody tests — simple blood tests that can detect whether a person has developed antibodies, and thus immunity, from the coronavirus — could well be the answer. They are easy to administer and easy to scale. They don’t require health-care workers to wear special equipment. Results come back in hours instead of days. And they could be ready for deployment sooner than you might think.
…A serology test that can detect antibodies for the coronavirus means it can tell whether someone has developed immunity to the disease. Humans develop antibodies after a virus has made them ill; they are proteins that fight back against a foreign element in the body, eventually repelling it.
Covid-19, as we now know, affects different people differently. Some people don’t survive it, while for many others, it can feel like a bad case of the flu. Scientists also believe that millions of people have most likely contracted the coronavirus without any symptoms at all.
Can you see how useful an antibody test could be? Imagine that health-care workers could test everyone in an entire community. They would immediately learn who had potentially developed immunity and could be freed from self-isolation. The test could also tell whether someone has never been infected by the virus and thus can’t spread it to others. Lower-risk, uninfected people who don’t work in high-contact environments might be able to join the immune population as long as they took proper precautions.