Answering the questions about antibody testing

Many communities are starting antibody testing, using a blood test to determine if someone has been exposed and may have immunity to COVID-19.

The tests hold a lot of promise but today some top infectious disease experts are warning the tests may not provide everything we hope

The Infectious Disease Society of America, that's about 12,000 infectious disease experts, are cautioning against using these tests to determine immunity.

They also say some of the tests may not be very accurate, that instead of detecting the novel coronavirus, they could pick up antibodies for other coronaviruses, such as one that cause the common cold.

Right now, they think the best use of the antibody tests is to help develop a vaccine, identify patients who can donate plasma and to get a better idea of how many people have been infected.

"Fundamentally, its about understanding who's been infected, how many did we miss or did we just not test, those are the epidemiological questions and then what's the risk look like moving forward," says Alex Grenninger, of the University of Washington clinical virology lab.

This comes as a new report from USC and Los Angeles county shows the number of people infected may be up to 55-times higher than the number of confirmed cases.

Many communities are rolling out these tests.

The hope is to test as many people as possible to get a better idea of how widespread the virus is.

However, it's still uncertain whether the antibodies prove you have immunity.
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