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Should you get tested for Covid antibodies? Understanding the pros and cons

As the pandemic stretched on, many grew curious about their body's response to the virus. However, Covid antibody tests are not as straightforward as they seem. While knowing your antibody status may provide some information, it does not guarantee immunity from future infection.

When you are infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, your immune system produces antibodies to fight off the infection. An antibody test, often called a serology test, checks your blood for antibodies specific to the virus. If present, it indicates a past infection. However, the reliability of antibody results depends on when you take the test in relation to infection onset.

Ideally, antibody tests are most useful three weeks after initial symptoms. Taking it earlier may not detect recently produced antibodies. Additionally, antibody levels tend to wane over time. So a negative result after recovery does not necessarily mean absence of immunity. Experts still have much to learn about antibody dynamics and what antibody levels constitute protective immunity.

Regardless of test outcome, doctors advise continuing precautions like masking and distancing until the pandemic is better controlled. While promising, antibody tests alone cannot assess immune memory or predict future protection against variants. Vaccination remains the surest way to arm your defenses against severe disease.

Before undergoing testing, consider how results may impact your behavior and mental . An ambiguous or negative report does not mean you can let your guard down. Consult your physician to understand limitations and interpret reports in proper context. Antibody status is just one piece of a complex and ever-evolving viral puzzle. Stay updated and make informed choices about testing to aid rather than cause undue anxiety.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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