Blood Test To Identify Who Is Immune To Coronavirus Could Be Game Changer In War Against Outbreak
Not only could those people be the first wave back into restarting normal life in the country, antibodies in their blood could help other patients with the illness.
The New York Times:
Can You Become Immune To The Coronavirus?
As the number of people infected with the coronavirus surpasses 450,000 worldwide, and more than one billion are locked in their homes, scientists are wrestling with one of the most pressing questions of the pandemic: Do people who survive the infection become immune to the virus? The answer is a qualified yes, with some significant unknowns. That’s important for several reasons. People who are confirmed to be immune could venture from their homes and help shore up the work force until a vaccine becomes available, for example. (Mandavilli, 3/25)
U.S. Companies, Labs Rush To Produce Blood Test For Coronavirus Immunity
Several academic laboratories and medical companies are rushing to produce these blood tests, which can quickly identify disease-fighting antibodies in people who already have been infected but may have had mild symptoms or none at all. This is different from the current, sometimes hard-to-come-by diagnostic tests that draw on a nasal swab to confirm active infection. “Ultimately, this (antibody test) might help us figure out who can get the country back to normal,” Florian Krammer, a professor in vaccinology at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, told Reuters. “People who are immune could be the first people to go back to normal life and start everything up again.” (Terhune, Martell and Steenhuysen, 3/25)
Los Angeles Times:
Coronavirus Testing Needed To ID Infected Who Recovered
Around the world, more than 100,000 former patients have been tagged as “recovered.” But that is likely a tiny fraction of the true total. Now immune to reinfection — at least for a while — many of these recovered people could safely go back to work. They could care for those who are ill or who are at high risk of dying if they become ill. They could donate their antibody-rich blood to be used as medicine for the critically ill. They could be among the first to return to life as we used to know it. (Healy, 3/25)
The Wall Street Journal:
U.K. Trials Coronavirus-Immunity Tests For Home Use
With a vaccine against the new coronavirus many months away and no known effective drug treatments yet, governments around the world are searching for the next best thing: a test to see if people are immune to the virus. In Britain, the government said Wednesday it is trialing personal blood-testing kits that it hopes to distribute as soon as next week. The test—if it functions—could clear the way for people who have caught and recovered from Covid-19 to return to work or volunteer to help others, potentially easing the disruption caused by the pandemic. (Colchester and Roland, 3/25)