I go to a whole person healthcare clinic here in Nebraska. As a precaution during the pandemic, as you enter, they take your temperature and ask you a few questions.
On March 18, 2020, I went to the doctor to see the podiatrist for a follow-up about my most recent stress fracture and I failed the coronavirus screening to get into the building.
I had been having issues with inflammation, so I thought I was just having an RA flair. This usually includes having a sore throat and feeling completely worn down, so I thought nothing of it. But, turns out, I also had a low-grade fever.
They ruled out a bacterial infection and influenza and I was "diagnosed" with viral bronchitis. They said the flair was likely a result of the virus and the medications I was taking to help with the flair were probably keeping my fever mild.
But knowing whether or not you have had an infection not only gives you peace of mind and allows you to gauge just how neurotic you should be, but people who have already been exposed to the virus are crucial for finding a treatment and managing spread of the disease!
So what I need is a serological antibody blood test which detects proteins your body produces to fight off infection. Yesterday, the F.D.A. approved the use of a coronavirus antibody test in the U.S. and I plan on figuring out how to get tested!
Antibody tests can tell us how many people ACTUALLY have been infected (symptomatic or asymptomatic).
Only testing severe cases isn’t providing accurate information on how the virus is spreading or your potential for exposure. Experts say knowing how many people have recovered will allow us to start moving forward. We can get a better idea of when it will be safe to end lockdowns, relax social distancing restrictions, reopen schools, etc.
2/3 of the population needs to have been infected for there to be herd immunity. How will we know when we hit that threshold if people aren’t getting tested?
Plus, long-term, repeated antibody testing can tell us how long immunity might last.
This is a novel virus. We have NO IDEA right now!
I want to know if I have immunity and if that immunity might be able to help!
I’ll keep you posted!