WHO warns coronavirus antibody may not prove immunity


WHO, Coronavirus, Antibodies

The World Health Organization, WHO warned Friday that coronavirus antibody tests are basically useless when it comes to proving immunity — news that dampens hopes that the tests can show when and if it’s safe for someone to leave quarantine.

So called “serological” tests can only show if antibodies are present in a person’s blood, the WHO said in a statement.

And the presence of antibodies only indicates if a person has had COVID-19, either with or without symptoms, the organization said.

It is still unclear whether having survived the deadly virus imparts a universal immunity to 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 unit, CNBC.com reported.

Added Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies program, “Nobody is sure whether someone with…

Source: Vanguard Newspaper