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'There's just a lot of anxiety in waiting' LabCorp coronavirus antibody test now available

Lisa Dames was sick twice this spring and wanted to know whether it'd been the virus

GREENSBORO, N.C. — In February it was flu-like symptoms but she tested negative for the flu. Then in April, she had a stomach bug. Lisa Dames couldn't help but wonder if one of those illnesses was the coronavirus.

"For me, it was about peace of mind and just knowing one way or the other if I'd had it or not," said Dames.

She heard about LabCorp's coronavirus antibody tests--which look for resistance to the virus in the immune system.

LabCorp's tests don't require a doctor's note and cost $10. Dames went online and filled out a form on the company's website.

"It specifically asks if you have symptoms cause obviously they don't want folks that are currently infected to go into the labs for testing," said Dames.

She filled out the form and scheduled the appointment. Her finger was pricked for a blood sample and within 24 hours she had her test results back--negative.

There are more than 200 antibody test kits on the market but experts are still grappling with how accurate the results are.

"Only 12 have been approved by the FDA. The ones that have been approved are believed to be very accurate but the ones that are not approved are not very accurate," said Novant Health senior vice president Dr. David Priest.

He said LabCorp's antibody test is one of those 12 FDA approved tests but there's still a lot of unknowns.

"The problem is it doesn't tell us how protected you are against the virus, it doesn't tell us how long that protection lasts," said Priest.

Experts recommend the test for people who were previously sick with coronavirus-like symptoms but not for people who have been healthy in recent months.

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