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EBO MD expands COVID tests with vaccine response screen

EBO MD has added to its COVID-19 testing capabilities with a spike protein antibody test that can identify exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, regardless of symptoms, and measure the body’s immune response. When combined into a pre/post-vaccination assessment, the COVID-19 immune response panel and the COVID-19 vaccine response screen provide clarity into not only when an individual should receive a vaccine, but also how successful vaccine inoculation was at providing protective antibodies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends delaying vaccination if you are currently infected with the virus. Pre-vaccination tests can help establish this and determine when vaccination should be scheduled. The pre-vaccination test can also be used to measure antibody levels following a COVID-19 infection and help make informed decisions regarding timing of a vaccination.

EBO MD is the only provider in the area offering this vaccine response test. These tests require a blood sample and are not recommended for the diagnosis of an active coronavirus infection. Results are usually available within 48 hours. Tests are performed at the Cape Girardeau location only at this time (1417 N. Mount Auburn Road, upper level). The vaccine response test is $120 or $170 when combined with the pre-vaccine antibody test for a complete immune response panel. Tests are not billable to insurance but can be paid with a qualified health savings account.

EBO MD also offers all three major types of coronavirus testing: molecular (PCR), antigen and antibody. Each test is $120 each for EBO MD member patients and nonmembers alike.

Molecular tests, commonly called PCR tests, require a nose or throat swab and take 24-48 hours to get results. This test works by detecting the genetic material of the novel coronavirus. It is considered the most sensitive test for detecting an active infection and the results are highly accurate, though, due to the sensitivity, positives can show even after someone is no longer sick or infectious.

Antigen tests, commonly called rapid tests, require a nose or throat swab. Results are usually available within 24 hours. This type of test works by detecting molecules on the surface of the virus. Though fast, they are prone to false negatives and may require a follow-up PCR test for accuracy.

Antibody tests require a blood sample and aren’t recommended until at least 14 days after starting to show symptoms. This test works by identifying antibodies that indicate a previous infection. Because of this, it cannot be used to diagnose an active coronavirus infection, just whether you’ve been infected at some point in the past, even months ago. Results are usually available within 48 hours.

Symptoms of COVID-19 vary from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. Some of the most common symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, a new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. You should seek emergency medical care immediately if someone is showing any of these signs: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, or any other severe or concerning symptoms.

For more information or to schedule a test, call the dedicated COVID testing line at 573-334-6826.

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