Recovery from COVID-19 is typically considered after it has been at least 7 days from the start of your first symptoms, and at least 3 days without a fever, and all other symptoms have improved.
Additionally, an antibody test may be able to detect if you have already been exposed to and produced an immune response to COVID-19 —even if you never experienced symptoms. Previous exposure means you may now have some level of immunity to the virus.
At this time, it is unknown for how long antibodies will last after infection and if the antibodies will give you protective immunity. Even if you have antibodies, you may still have the virus and be able to infect others for a few weeks.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, loss of smell, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling weak or lethargic, chills, muscle pain, lightheadedness or dizziness, headache, vomiting or diarrhea, slurred speech, and/or seizures. The CDC has extensive list, view it here.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
The antibody tests (sometimes known as the serology tests or IgG tests) are intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection. Results are for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are generally detectable in blood several days after initial infection, although the duration of time antibodies are present post-infection is not well characterized. At this time, it is unknown for how long antibodies persist following infection and if the presence of antibodies confers protective immunity. Individuals may have detectable virus present for several weeks following seroconversion. Negative results do not preclude acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. If acute infection is suspected, molecular testing for SARS-CoV-2 is necessary. The antibody test should not be used to diagnose acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. False positive results for the antibody test may occur due to cross-reactivity from pre-existing antibodies or other possible causes.
- The antibody tests and the molecular tests (together “All tests”) have not been FDA cleared or approved;
- All tests have been authorized by FDA under EUAs for use by authorized laboratories;
- The antibody tests have been authorized only for the detection of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens;
- The molecular tests have been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens; and,
- All tests are only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.
This content is from the Quest Diagnostic Lab FAQ section found here: https://www.questdiagnostics.com/home/Covid-19/Patients/
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