Manitoba Daily

Thursday, August 11, 2022

How to test for COVID antibodies in Manitoba most effectively

The most effective method of testing for COVID antibodies in Manitoba

Key Takeaways:

  • Manitobans can use another over-the-counter test if they are unsure whether they have antiviral antibodies.
  • Stein examines arbitrary blood samples from Manitoban patients whose blood was obtained for various reasons using a more advanced approach.

Since the pandemic, many Manitobans have routinely undergone a quick antigen test to screen for COVID-19.

However, Manitobans can utilize another over-the-counter test if they are unsure whether they have antiviral antibodies. One specialist claims it does not provide a complete picture of COVID-19 in Manitoba.

Using blood samples, the typical COVID-19 antibody test may determine whether you have an antibody reaction in a matter of minutes.

The test determines if you have IGG antibodies, which seem to be long-lasting, or IGM antibodies, which are early antibodies, according to Derek Stein, a scientist at Cadham Provincial Lab.

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According to him, the tests just provide a basic yes or no answer, which isn’t very helpful because it doesn’t reveal how many antibodies you possess.

“Everyone will want to know if they are protected. Everyone asks that question when they order an antibody test, but the results of such tests don’t always provide an immediate response, “Stein said.

At Cadham, Stein uses a more sophisticated technique to examine arbitrary blood samples from Manitoban patients who have had blood drawn for various purposes. This will aid in calculating Manitoba’s seroprevalence, or the proportion of the population that tests positive for a given disease. He claims it is the best way to determine how many people have COVID.

According to Stein, if you get tested, the province can only get the numbers. “Seroprevalence allows us to collect that entire population because if you don’t go for testing, we don’t know if you’ve got COVID or been exposed to COVID.”

The most effective method of testing for COVID antibodies in Manitoba
The most effective method of testing for COVID antibodies in Manitoba. Image from CBC News

According to Stein, the cumulative rate for COVID-19 antibodies in Manitoba is 82%, implying that since the pandemic’s beginning, 4 out of 5 Manitobans have either contracted COVID or been exposed to it.

According to Stein, different people’s antibody reactions depend on various variables like sex, age, or pre-existing medical issues.

“The body responds in a pretty complicated way, and we are still trying to understand precisely how all that interacts in terms of immunity and protection,” he said.

The lab tests utilized can provide information that the at-home test cannot, and this information aids in guiding public health decisions.

According to Stein, the age group of 20 to 39 years old had the highest COVID-19 antibody rate. Booster campaigns specifically target those 50 and older because they have lower seroprevalence than people 65 and younger.

Source: CTV News

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