Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Taking the Test

Antibody tests for Covid19 are now easily available in France at your pharmacy. They cost €18 and you don't get reimbursed, but you don't need a prescription either. Claire the pharmacist explained that the test was for people who had symptoms at least two weeks earlier. The test checks for two types of antibody, so will pick up if you currently have it, or if you have had it in the past. However, it is a bit quick and dirty, involving just a pinprick to get blood, which is then put on a reactive scale. If you test positive you are advised to have a full laboratory test, either a full blood test or the dreaded swab up the nose test.
Covid19 antibody test results. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Simon wanted to be tested because he had a virus in February that we wondered if it was actually Covid19, so I made an appointment with Claire. She explained how the test worked and set up the patient consultation room for him. The chair and desk were disinfected and a perspex screen put across the table to protect Simon from Claire and vice versa. Both were wearing masks too.

She pricked his finger and dabbed the reactive strip with his blood. Then we had to sit around twiddling our thumbs and making slightly awkward conversation for 10 minutes to make sure the reaction had time to become visible. Claire pointed out that she knew the test was working properly because there was a control reaction at the top.

Anyway after the time was up there was no sign of a reaction, so Simon has tested negative for Covid19. Claire gave us the test strip and filled out a form to confirm he had the test and that the result was negative. 


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Jean said...

That's kind of good and bad news at the same time. Bad in the sense that if he had had it he might not be likely to get it again. Good that you got the result instantly (more or less).

Susan said...

That's how we felt. This test isn't for everyone either, simply because we don't know enough about how long the antibodies last or how much they protect you. Like I said, it's quick and dirty, while we wait for better info.

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