AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As the coronavirus pandemic ramps up here in the area, antibody testing is now available.
Dr.Scott Milton, the Amarillo Public Health Authority says the city uses PCR (polymerise chain reaction) tests to directly detect the presence of an antigen, to see if someone has COVID-19.
“That test implies you are contagious. That’s our main goal is to spread, to reduce the burden of contagiousness in our community,” said Dr. Milton.
So what does an antibody test do?
“What you are detecting is proteins that are produced by the body in response to a previous infection and so what that implies, is that you developed an immune response,” said Dr. Milton.
The City of Amarillo does not perform antibody testing, but you can still get them in the area.
“We don’t perform that at our health department, but it is available at commercial labs and private labs in Amarillo,” added Dr. Milton.
As patients recover from COVID-19 in our area, they can donate convalescent plasma containing antibodies, to potentially help others fight the disease.
Those recovered patients with those antibodies can give plasma to help others fight COVID-19.
They do, however, have to be 14 to 28 days symptom-free as well as have a negative test proving they are clear of the virus.
Coffee Memorial Blood Center is the only area registry of plasma from donors with those antibodies who have recovered from COVID-19.
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