Coronavirus: Unverified antibody tests risk spread of COVID-19, expert warns

Derrick Santistevan

Unproven antibody tests put folks at risk of contracting coronavirus and spreading it to others, it has been warned.

Specialists have urged folks in opposition to utilizing unapproved kits – designed to detect if somebody has had COVID-19 and so could also be immune – stating no nation on the earth has but discovered a dependable test.

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It follows studies of private firms and people searching for to purchase antibody tests, with the hope of folks having the ability to return to work.

The federal government is working with a number of firms that provide the coronavirus tests and is evaluating their effectiveness, however none have but proved correct sufficient to roll out for public use.

In the meantime, the World Well being Organisation has warned there is no such thing as a proof that individuals who have had COVID-19 can’t be contaminated once more.

Professor John Newton, nationwide co-ordinator of the UK coronavirus testing programme, mentioned unverified tests might present “misleading” results and so pose a danger.

He mentioned: “The federal government, supported by world-leading specialists and regulators, is constant to work laborious to quickly ship a dependable and correct back-to-work antibody testing package, to counter the spread of the virus and allow folks to return to work safely.

“We are breaking new ground with this work every day and I am confident this major research effort will make a breakthrough.

“Till then, please do not buy or take any unproven tests. They is probably not dependable to your supposed use; they could give a false studying and put you, your family or others at risk.”

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Prof Newton mentioned securing an correct antibody test that would reliably be used at home could be “a game-changer”.

However he added: “Right now, however, these antibody tests are brand new and still in development.

“No nation on the earth has but discovered an antibody test dependable sufficient to work as a back-to-work diagnostic, however the UK is main the way in which on this rising space of science and technology, and corporations and scientists are doing all the things they will to enhance the accuracy of the tests on the market.

“As soon we have found a test that works for this purpose, we will be in a position to roll them out across the country as a back to work test.

“Within the meantime, I counsel organisations, each within the public and private sector, in opposition to the use of antibody tests that haven’t been verified in a laboratory setting: and none have.

“The results of an inaccurate test are potentially misleading and can put people at risk of contracting the disease and transmitting it to others.

“The chief medical officer has additionally mentioned he strongly discourages the use of unvalidated tests and that, for now, the social distancing tips proceed apply to everybody.”

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