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WHO warning: No evidence that antibody tests can show coronavirus immunity

WHO warning: No evidence that antibody tests can show coronavirus immunity


The World Health Organization issued a warning Friday about coronavirus testing, saying there’s no evidence serological tests can show whether a person has immunity or is no longer at risk of becoming reinfected.

“These antibody tests will be able to measure that level of serology presence, that level of antibodies, but that does not mean that somebody with antibodies” is immune, said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit.

Why are anti-body tests being conducted then?

“What the use of these tests will do will measure the level of antibodies. It’s a response that the body has a week or two later after they’ve been infected with this virus,” she said at a news conference at WHO’s Geneva headquarters. “Right now, we have no evidence that the use of a serological test can show that an individual is immune or protected from reinfection.”

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies program, said scientists are also still determining the length of protection antibodies might give a person who has been infected with the coronavirus. 

Also read: Bangladeshi scientists have launched a $3.25 test for Covid-19: Is it reliable?


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