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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speir

Antibody testing now available in our office lab

Westpac laboratories has antibody testing available for those who think they might have already had this novel coronavirus. The idea with antibody testing is that traditionally after you are exposed to a virus you develop an immune response with a specific kinds of antibodies. IGG antibody indicates a memory antibody or evidence that you had the infection and IGM indicates a current/active immune response. Certain virus antibody testing is more reliable than others and different viruses have different thresholds of IGG that indicate immunity. We don't really know if you can get permanent immunity with this new coronavirus (like chicken pox) if you get the virus. There are known viruses, such as the one that causes Dengue Fever (which I actually had when I was pregnant!) which can actually be worse the second time you get it. We are still learning what our immune response is to this virus, both short term and long term. However, it could be useful to know whether you did have the viruses for research purposes ( especially if you are pregnant) and to possibly donate your plasma to other people with the disease. Because we don't really know what it means to be immune, I would not change behavior based on the testing. Especially to protect our pregnant moms and unborn babies, I would not change recommendations to socially distance or travel or wear masks based on your antibody test. Talk to your doctor about whether you should have the test done.

Encourage your family members and friends to donate blood! Blood donations are way down and pregnancy and postpartum complications often requiring life-saving blood transfusions!

There was a new study from the UK - I am including all the gory details - so don't read it if you think it will make you anxious!

427 pregnant women were admitted to the hospital with Covid-19, average gestational age was 34 weeks.

9% critically ill

1.2% fatality rate

243 (58% delivered or had a loss while hospitalized)

26% preterm- mostly to help stabilize mothers

59% Cesareans ( I imagine this stat is higher because of those deliveries that were expedited to help mother's breathing status - 27%)

2% perinatal death (3 stillbirths and 2 neonatal deaths)

only 5% of infants tested positive ( this is great, so we don't think it is common for moms to give it to babies in or out of the womb)

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