FOX 2 - Emcura Immediate Care just started offering tests that will reveal if a person has the protective antibodies.
Because many of us may have had COVID-19 and didn't even know it - Taryn Asher decided to schedule an appointment to be tested. She quickly learned there are some important things to keep in mind.
"Some antibody tests aren't as accurate as others, so we don't want to feel people are protected if they get a false positive," said Dr. Supal Sookkasikon.
And that is key - because you could be spreading COVID-19 and not even know it. Dr. Manish Kesliker and Dr. Supak Sookkasikon are a married couple who own Emcura Immediate Care in Bloomfield Hills and Northville, which has been designated by the state as a testing site for the coronavirus.
But as of last week, they started also offering appointments for IgG antibody testing. They say the first thing you need to do is make sure you are getting a reliable test.
"That's why this blood test we are running, it is through Quest Labs, it is very specific, it is 99.6 percent specific for the antibody," said Dr. Kesliker. "And so because of that, we are more confident that whatever test result you are getting is more accurate vs a finger prick test which is not as accurate."
The process begins with a nurse wearing PPE taking your temperature and other vitals. Taryn's was normal. Then she takes your blood, which is sent off to the lab. Results are expected to take 3 to 5 days and will tell you if you've been infected at one time by COVID-19 and your immune system has developed the protective antibodies.
FOX 2's Taryn Asher took the antibody blood test herself.
"I am one of the low percentages that has the antibodies, does that mean I am protected, or do we even know what that means right now?" Taryn said.
"That's a good question," said Dr. Kesliker. "At this point, we aren't sure if having the antibodies is protective. I will give you an example, they went back to the old SARS virus of 2003. They did find that those who had so-called neutralizing antibodies weren't going to get re-infected. But we don't know just yet with this particular strain. Until we get some good guidance from the CDC or some scientists out there, we are still waiting for that."
It may be months before we know if a person who tests positive for antibodies actually develops immunity to the virus, but the information is still valuable.
If someone tests negative - it shows they are still vulnerable to COVID-19.
"That will be key for really getting our nation, everyone in Michigan back to work and back to life," Taryn said.
"Absolutely," said Sookkasikon.
The doctors say the longer you wait to get the test after being infected the better - to be able to see if you developed the antibodies.
Taryn has been home for a month and is not sure if she was ever exposed - but she will know in a few days if she was and possibly developed an immunity.
You have to make an appointment for this IgG blood test and then just show up and wait for the results.
For more information go to https://www.emcura.com/