Antibody tests expected next week in US

Coronavirus

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a briefing on coronavirus in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — The top U.S. infectious disease official says coronavirus antibody tests are just days away.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says at the last White House coronavirus task force meeting, the people responsible for developing, validating and disseminating the tests were saying “a rather large number of tests” will be available within a week.

Fauci told CNN on Friday he’s ”certain that that’s going to happen.”

An antibody test could show whether a person was recently exposed to the coronavirus. Fauci says the test would say “that you were infected and if you’re feeling well you very likely recovered.”

Fauci says medical experts could then try to determine how deeply the virus “has penetrated the society” and whether previously infected people would be vulnerable to reinfection, which is particularly “important for health care workers.”

Fauci says testing for an antibody doesn’t mean medical experts are shifting away from testing for the virus to see who’s infected. He says, “those things are done in parallel.”

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