Several weeks ago 100 pre-registered individuals obtained COVID antibody testing at the Lung Disease Center. I should mention that these tests were generously provided by Nason Hospital and the Connemaugh Health System and were free to the participants. The results were conveyed confidentially to each participant. Most of the folks who signed up for the test felt that they may have had the coronavirus infection earlier in the year. The common story we have heard is “doctor, I was so sick in February that I think I had the virus”. Of course, in the clinical setting of the office there was no way to adequately tell if this was true or not, which is why the Lung Disease Center decided, as part of our participation in Health O Rama this year, we would offer these test to see if a sample population had a high degree of positivity.
Out of 100 tests performed, only 3 showed positive antibodies to the COVID 19 coronavirus. What does this mean? Well, it could me several things; first, very few of the participants had the coronavirus earlier in the year; second, antibodies to the coronavirus dissipated over the months since infection, or they never developed. Of course, no test is 100% accurate, but it will be interesting to see how long antibodies to COVID 19 will last following vaccination. Answers to these questions are yet to be found.
Continue to follow masking, social distancing, and hand washing until we know more about immunity to COVID 19.