COVID-19 antibody tests are available countrywide at Dis-Chem or Clicks clinics. COVID-19 antibody tests are not diagnostic and are not to be regarded as a sort of immunity certificate.
Dischem National Clinic Manager Lizeth Kruger said, “it gives us an indication of how long it takes to get antibodies for the virus, how long it will take for the body to wean of immunity against the virus.
People who had few or no symptoms would not have realised they were carriers. Knowing they now have antibodies means they can sleep a little easier because they’re less susceptible to getting it again.
It takes just 10 minutes to get the results and two types of antibodies are tested for.
Kruger said, “you have to be at least have had the virus a month before you had a virus. All clinical studies show up to now that you can have antibodies up to 100 days. The tests are 96 percent accurate.
Kruger said, “the limitation is obviously we don’t know how much antibodies you got we don’t know how long it has been. If you didn’t have swab test if you don’t know if you had it before if you had symptoms you can’t start it before 21 days after starting of the symptoms. Secondly, you don’t know how long you’ll have the antibodies.
Kruger advises people who do have antibodies to test again in two months’ time.
Internationally, at least one case has been reported of a person who was reinfected with the virus for a second time.
Even if you do have antibodies, it’s still important to wash your hands, wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Around 3,000 South Africans have taken the rapid in-store antibody test at Dischem and 13,5% had antibodies against the virus.
A South African version of this test will be available soon.
The good news is that a vaccine should be available in the country by the end of next year.
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