Barry County announces antibody COVID-19 case

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

County’s 7th case recovered, not contagious

Barry County has announced its seventh case of COVID-19, a positive determined in an antibody test for a person who has already recovered and is no longer contagious.

According to a press release from the Barry County Health Department and the Barry County Department of Emergency Management, the new case was the result of a serological test, commonly called an antibody test. While the positive antibody test result is included in the county’s total number of COVID-19 cases, it does not represent an active COVID-19 case.

“We have reviewed the details of the positive serological test and determined the person traveled internationally more than 30 days ago, and that is the likely source of the previous COVID-19 infection,” said Roger Brock, Barry County Health Department Administrator. “The person and their close contacts have not had symptoms of COVID-19 and do not require isolation or quarantine.”

There are two types of testing being done for COVID-19. The first and most familiar is the viral test, which uses swabs from the respiratory system, typically the nose, to determine if the patient has a current infection of COVID-19.

The sample is analyzed for the presence of either COVID-19 viral RNA or proteins, which are present in persons with an active infection. These patients are placed in isolation and all close contacts are notified and placed in quarantine by order of the Health Department.

The second type of testing is typically referred to as the antibody test. In this test, a blood sample is taken from the patient and analyzed in a laboratory for the presence of specific proteins (antibodies) created by the body’s immune system. Antibody tests alone are not used to diagnose someone with an active COVID-19 infection, since it typically takes 1-3 weeks, or longer, after being infected for the immune system to make antibodies.

This test is used to determine if someone previously had COVID-19. A patient with a positive antibody test alone does not need to be isolated, as the person typically has recovered from the virus and is no longer contagious.

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