On Your Mind: Will I Ever Know If I Have The Coronavirus, If I Don’t Have Any Symptoms?

Here, a top medical expert sheds some light on this pressing issue.
12 August 2020

Seeing the number of daily coronavirus cases still in the hundreds in Singapore – to say nothing of those around the world – may have you worried or simply wondering whether you have had the virus, even if you are asymptomatic, or experiencing no symptoms.

The best way to know, according to Dr.Neil Forrest from the International Medical Clinic (IMC) Camden, is to do an antibody test. “It allows you to find out if you have previously been exposed to the virus and have had an immune response,” explains Dr. Forrest.

The test is carried out by drawing your blood sample, but it is not checking for the virus itself. Rather, it serves as a way to see if your immune system has ever responded to the infection from Covid-19 without you even realising it.

The antibody test yields two results: either positive or negative. If you obtain a positive result, it means that there is the presence of Covid antibodies in your blood. “It shows that you have had an immune response, and have been exposed to the virus,” says Dr. Forrest.

However, testing positive does not mean you are protected from being infected from the coronavirus again. The doctor also cautions, “This test is only around 80 percent accurate, which means there is a 20 percent chance that you have had Covid-19, probably with mild symptoms.”

From The Finder, Issue 303

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