Response from my Doctor on COVID-19 Antibody Test
See SARS CoV2 aka COVID-19: Time to Steepen the Curve and Accelerate Infection of Low-Risk People.
Back in April, I suffered through 2.5 weeks of issues that corespond to the onset, duration and symptoms of COVID-19. I have long since recovered, with no ill effects that I am aware of.
A few days ago, I wrote a note to my internist doctor asking for the COVID-19 IgG antibody test. I just wanted to confirm that what I had was indeed COVID-19. I thought that the IgG test had a ~100% test specificity, but now I don’t know what to think on test accuracy.
Doctor response to my inquiry
Name and facility obfuscated. Emphasis added.
Sure, I can order the antibody blood testing though if you want me to order that.
Here's some additional information about the antibody test though which I recommend you read. https://www.idsociety.org/globalassets/idsa/public-health/covid-19/idsa-covid-19-antibody-testing-primer.pdf . This test isn't for everyone and there are limitations to what it tells us.
The antibody test is not a perfect test there can be fairly high amounts of false results. Many infectious disease specialists aren't recommending these be done routinely. In theory the antibody test would be helpful to tell us if you really had the infection and were immune, however it isn't guaranteed to be the case if people test positive. For our own ******* health lab I have heard the sensitivity and specificity are not so good and we get a more false positive results. Any positive results also will be reported to the public health department might need further followup testing and/or isolation.
Stanford has a better antibody test that apparently has better sensitivity and specificity than the one available at Quest but I don't have the actual numbers on that. We can still draw your blood for the test at our labs and have it sent over to Stanford to be analyzed. I don't know the cost for these tests at this time either but have heard it might be about $70 or it might be covered completely by insurance.
If you still want this test, I would recommend the Stanford antibody test to be drawn by our lab for you and then I can place the order for you.
Also, you have to be free of symptoms and exposures and you have to answer questions within two days before you come to our lab. We are required to ask you the following questions.
1. In the last 7 days, have you experienced any of the following New or Worsening symptoms: cough, breathing problems, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of taste or smell?
2. In the last 14 days, have you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
3. Do you currently live in a Skilled Nursing or Long Term Care Facility?
4. Do you currently live in an Assisted Living Facility or a Shelter?
If any of these symptoms change within the next day or so please give us a call so that we can further discuss the next steps.
WIND: As I have no interest in having the county health department order me into self-quarantine for two weeks, I do not intend to get a test at this time.
Speaking to my prior post, it’s clear that this doctor lacks confidence in the test accuracy at the facility he is employed in. That facility is using an inferior test according to this doctor! What does that tell you about all the GIGO data used to formulate public policy?