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Abbott Launches New Coronavirus Antibody Test

The test identifies a specific antibody that can remain in an infected person's bloodstream even months after they've recovered.
Posted at 4:51 PM, Apr 15, 2020

Abbott Laboratories announced Wednesday the launch of a new COVID-19 test it claims is capable of determining if someone has ever been infected with the coronavirus.

The test works by detecting a specific antibody that is produced in an infected person's bloodstream, which can "remain for up to months and possibly years after a person has recovered." The company says identifying those antibodies can help determine if someone was previously infected — even if they never developed symptoms.

Abbott said it expects to ship nearly 1 million tests to U.S. customers this week, and plans to expand shipments to 20 million a month by June. It said the tests are compatible with two of its already available lab instruments "which can run up to 100-200 tests an hour."

Such antibody screenings might help experts better understand how the coronavirus  spreads, and be used by governments to decide when to relax stay-at-home orders.

Contains footage from CNN.