Antibody testing begins but concerns about the results remain

Coronavirus

BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – COVID-19 antibody testing is available in our area, but some say you shouldn’t run out to get one of these tests.

“A lot of people just want to know, was I infected with COVID” said Connie DeLeo, Infection Preventionist with Baton Rouge General.

Baton Rouge General is now offering COVID-19 antibody testing at two BRG Express Care locations. The test determines if your body makes proteins to fight the Coronavirus.

DeLeo explained the test could get you a false-negative result.

“For example, people undergoing chemotherapy or people who have HIV or AIDS. They may be immunocompromised or immunosupressed and their body won’t make those antibodies,” DeLeo said.

DeLeo said getting tested too soon after having symptoms could also give you a false-negative, so it’s recommended you wait 14 days. There is also a chance for a false positive.

“What we don’t know is if that will protect you from future infections or future exposure to the virus,” said Dr. Ralph Dauterive, Vice-President of Medical Affairs with Ochsner Baton Rouge.

Ochsner will now give antibody tests to employees. Experts said there is not enough information at this time to determine what defines COVID-19 immunity and how long immunity may last.

“Rushing out to get this test is not going to guarantee all the results we want, but it will help to determine some of those folks who can go back to work, especially if you’ve had the virus for at least 14 days,” said Dr. Rani Whitfield with Our Lady of the Lake.

Even with the test, DeLeo said don’t forget the rules of our new normal.

“Please remember to practice social distancing. Please keep all the surfaces in your car and your home clean. Please wear a mask if you’re gonna go to congregated areas like a grocery store or pharmacy and we’ve preached this in infection prevention for 100 years. Keep your hands clean,” DeLeo said.

The test is $100. Check with your insurance provider to see if you’re covered.
You can’t just show up to get tested. You need to make an appointment.

  • BRG Express Care – Highland Village
  • 4410 Highland Road
  • Baton Rouge, LA 70808
  • (225) 831-4025
  • BRG Express Care – Dutchtown
  • 13201 Highway 73, Suite 102
  • Geismar, LA 70734
  • (225) 673-2088

For more information click here

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.