Tags: Coronavirus | antibody testing | FDA

Los Angeles County Begins Antibody Testing


By    |   Friday, 10 April 2020 09:47 AM

Los Angeles County is the latest locality looking to track how far the coronavirus has spread.

To do so, county health officials will begin testing the blood of 1,000 randomly selected residents to see if they have or had COVID-19, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The study, which uses antibody tests, may be able to provide insight on when the shutdowns can end, how effective social distancing measures were in stopping the spread and what the actual mortality rate of the coronavirus totals. 

Known as serological testing, health officials say it could be the key to understanding how the pandemic spread. The Food and Drug Administration approved a new test for coronavirus antibodies earlier this month. 

“Is it 1% of our population? Is it 10% of our population? That’s the difference between 80,000 adults and 800,000 adults. We have no idea,” Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health told the L.A. Times. 

Los Angeles County isn’t the only place conducting antibody tests. Testing in Santa Clara County already is underway. German health officials also announced plans to run a large-scale program in Europe. China and Singapore already have been using antibody testing. 

The British government ordered more than 4 million antibody tests for residents, but Oxford University found the tests faulty. 

The blood tests will hopefully indicate if antibodies are present, which the body develops to fight off a virus and possible protect against reinfection. The test will also be administered to people with no symptoms. 

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Los Angeles County is the latest locality looking to track how far the coronavirus has spread.
antibody testing, FDA
Friday, 10 April 2020 09:47 AM
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