My experience with having had coronavirus / covid-19.

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
I and my wife got tested for coronavirus antibodies, specifically the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay from labcorp.

We both tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

It was easy to get the blood test, $10 with or without insurance, results in less than 24 hours from labcorp. Quest also has a self order portal.

I strongly suspected my wife had covid, she was fairly sick for a week, cough for 3-4 weeks. All the typical symptoms, she didn't eat for 2 days, slept all day the first day, ran a fever up to 103, at which point I gave her some tylenol. We took a one mile walk in the park, she has to rest for breath half way on the work. When she was younger she had pneumonia 4 times while living in Thailand. I was moderately concerned and planned to take her to the hospital if she got worse.

I on the other had nearly no symptoms, a bit of a runny nose and fever that went to 99. I was sick before my wife, so it's possible I gave it to her. I wasn't even sure I was sick it was so mild. But my wife is still working and other people from her work tested positive for covid, so for her even without an antibody test / pcr test I was fairly convinced she had it. At the time, a month ago, it was difficult to get the pcr test for active covid infection.

I am 67 and my wife is 45, no health problems for either of us.

The test isn't 100% accurate, it's possible though unlikely for other coronavirus to trigger a false positive, but since we both tested positive and given the circumstance, it's 100% in my mind.
 

fifty

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info. I saw your earlier post and told my wife we could get her an antibody test within 2 hours. She didn’t care even though she regularly says she thinks she had it :)

Either way, I didn’t know about the labcorp test so thank you. I’ll get the test in the near future.
 

TucsonJJ

Member
I and my wife got tested for coronavirus antibodies, specifically the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay from labcorp.

We both tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

It was easy to get the blood test, $10 with or without insurance, results in less than 24 hours from labcorp. Quest also has a self order portal.

I strongly suspected my wife had covid, she was fairly sick for a week, cough for 3-4 weeks. All the typical symptoms, she didn't eat for 2 days, slept all day the first day, ran a fever up to 103, at which point I gave her some tylenol. We took a one mile walk in the park, she has to rest for breath half way on the work. When she was younger she had pneumonia 4 times while living in Thailand. I was moderately concerned and planned to take her to the hospital if she got worse.

I on the other had nearly no symptoms, a bit of a runny nose and fever that went to 99. I was sick before my wife, so it's possible I gave it to her. I wasn't even sure I was sick it was so mild. But my wife is still working and other people from her work tested positive for covid, so for her even without an antibody test / pcr test I was fairly convinced she had it. At the time, a month ago, it was difficult to get the pcr test for active covid infection.

I am 67 and my wife is 45, no health problems for either of us.

The test isn't 100% accurate, it's possible though unlikely for other coronavirus to trigger a false positive, but since we both tested positive and given the circumstance, it's 100% in my mind.
Glad you both are doing OK... I read and believe that keeping your D3 and vitamin C levels high is a great way to avoid getting COVID... adding some zinc (piccolonate is best), magnesium helps too... I drink Chaga mushroom powder tea and take grapefruit seed extract as additional steps... I am nearly 64, in good health... but the above are all pretty inexpensive... so why not?
 

fifty

Well-Known Member
I got my $10 labcorp antibody test thanks to the heads-up by dragonbits. Came back negative. Next up is my wife who thinks she actually may have had it.
 

Golfboy307

Active Member
I was very sick in mid March, two weeks of coughing and mild fever. Felt crappy. Antibody tests came back negative. I was actually rooting for a positive result given how I felt. Then I would be done with it.

Glad you and your wife are doing well Dragon Bits.
 

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
Thanks all:

Today I took my 93 old mother in to get the antibody test.

While my wife stayed downstairs while sick, I went back and forth, and my mother will often use the downstairs bathroom which my wife was using.

Stands to reason she was exposed and might have caught it, though she didn't say she felt sick. She doesn't have any comorbidities outside or her blood pressure is sometimes high. I tend to only give her blood pressure meds if her pressure goes above 145, today it was 124/48 pulse 67. If she takes the meds every day, her pulse goes too low, it's already low.
 

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
Update: My mother tested NEGATIVE for a previous Covid-19 infection. We all live together, I interact with my mother often though I sleep downstairs, she upstairs.

Odd my mother was never infected, I didn't get very sick, perhaps I wasn't shedding too much virus.

It's more than possible I got covid-19 first and gave it to my wife, I was a little sick before my wife. Just 99 fever and a runny nose, so I didn't think much of it.

If I got it first, no doubt it came from the local healthclub, I was in the club 3/2/2020, 3/4/2020 and 3/5/2020. There is no where else I spend any substantial time with people around me. Though my wife works with other people and some of them had gotten covid-19 but at a later date, so hard to tell the sequence of what exactly happened.
 

sammmy

Member
The antibody tests for COVID-19 are extremely unreliable and cannot be used as a confirmation of anything. That's the recent evaluation by CDC:
Antibody tests for Covid-19 wrong up to half the time, CDC says

The CDC explains why testing can be wrong so often. A lot has to do with how common the virus is in the population being tested. "For example, in a population where the prevalence is 5%, a test with 90% sensitivity and 95% specificity will yield a positive predictive value of 49%. In other words, less than half of those testing positive will truly have antibodies," the CDC said.
 
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fifty

Well-Known Member
A CNN article. Nice.

What if prevalence isn’t 5% or sensitivity isn’t 90% or specificity isn’t 95%?
 
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sammmy

Member
This is a CNN article citing CDC, which tend to understand statistics well enough because that is their job after all.

The main cause of so many false positives will be the low prevalence of COVID-19. That means a lot of people are truly negative and if the test has specificity even slightly below 100%, it will generate a lot of false positives: number of false positives = number of truly negative people * (100% - specificity).

Currently there are 6 million confirmed cases. Even if the real cases are 100 times more (no, they aren't or we would see much more newly infected cases), that makes 600 million cases which is less than 10% of the Earth population. So the 5% prevalence that CDC uses is quite a reasonable UPPER bound for the prevalence.

Cheap rapid tests almost surely will have specificity lower than 100%. Some manufacturers of course claim close to 100% specificity but that is either tested on small number of people or the data is simply doctored to look good and then in reality it isn't that good.
 

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
The antibody tests for COVID-19 are extremely unreliable and cannot be used as a confirmation of anything. That's the recent evaluation by CDC:
Antibody tests for Covid-19 wrong up to half the time, CDC says
I did a fair amount of research before taking the test, and the headline by a reporter is deceptive.

In that article, they used the worst test available, and are looking at PPV, positive predictive value, NOT how likely an individual test is to be accurate.

From the article:

"If just 5% of the population being tested has the virus, a test with more than 90% accuracy can still miss half the cases."

The test I took had 100% Sensitivity and 99.6 % Specificity, with a PPV of 83.4% and NPV of 99.8%.

============================================
Labcorp used the "Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay" :

Abbott Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG
Developer: Abbott
Test: Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG
Technology: High Throughput CMIA
Target: Nucleocapsid

Antibody

Performance Measure

Estimate of Performance

95% Confidence Interval

IgG

Sensitivity (PPA)

100% (88/88)

(95.8%; 100%)

IgG

Specificity (NPA)

99.6% (1066/1070)

(99.0%; 99.9%)

IgG

PPV at prevalence = 5%

92.9%

(83.4%; 98.1%)

IgG

NPV at prevalence = 5%

100%

(99.8%; 100%




This link is to all the antibody test given EUA by the FDA:

In addition, we aren't random sample, my wife had all the symptoms of Covid, and we BOTH tested positive, adding to the confidence that this was accurate.

PPV and NPV are pretty tricky concepts for most people in the USA many of whom have a hard time long dividing without a calculator.

4 out of ten can't even do simply math WITH a calculator.


Point being, reporter first have to understand math, they have have to say something controversial so it gets attention, then they have to dumb it down so the majority of their readers can understand it. A lot get's lost in this process, which is why I always look at the original study/data to see what it really says.
 

sammmy

Member
The Abbot test specificity is tried only on 1070 people. No guarantee this is a random sample that represents the US population at all. Also that is data from manufacturer not validated by an independent agency.

The FDA page lists tests granted emergency approval based on manufacturer data. It is NOT a validation of those tests. Medical users (CDC etc) of those tests report a too high rate of false positives. Are we supposed to believe manufacturers with obvious financial bias or the actual users?
 

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
The Abbot test specificity is tried only on 1070 people. No guarantee this is a random sample that represents the US population at all. Also that is data from manufacturer not validated by an independent agency.

The FDA page lists tests granted emergency approval based on manufacturer data. It is NOT a validation of those tests. Medical users (CDC etc) of those tests report a too high rate of false positives. Are we supposed to believe manufacturers with obvious financial bias or the actual users?
The CDc isn't a "user" of these test, and my faith in the CDC is limited in they were the ones that screwed up the covid-19 test in Feb and also BANNED ANY hospital from using any other test outside of the flawed CDC nasal swab test. This caused a HUGE delay in getting a handle on this pandemic.

Not to mention the CDC first said masks were NOT useful by the population and not to buy them, then later recommended that everyone wear one!

This does not inspire confidence.

The article is BASED on data from these manufactures, so if you doubt the data then the article should be discounted.

That being said:

IMO the CDC recommendation not to use the current covid antibody test for POLICY decisions about any particular POPULATION is valid enough, though the antibody test accuracy appears to be derived by averaging the data from the manufactures of all 13 antibody test given EUA by the FDA. This includes the most inaccurate test along with the most accurate.

The most accurate test is the Abbot Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG test, which was IgG Sensitivity (PPA) 100% (88/88) IgG Specificity (NPA)
99.6% (1066/1070).

So I elected to take the most accurate Abbot test, not the Chembio Diagnostic which has a IgG sensitivity of only 87.1%, a higher level of false positive than the Abbot test.
   

The test for any individual is highly accurate, while because of the low incidence of Covid infection in large populations, you cannot currently use the tests to make POLICY decisions.


Maybe if they only use the Abbot test and eliminated the 12 others, it could be used for population studies. In taking this test I am not concerned with policy concerning the general population in my area.

I am only trying to make decisions about 3 people in my family, for that this test are highly reliable.
 

txmx

Member
Self-pay testing at Quest is $119 plus the $10 separate physician fee. Very clear. Labcorp says $10 physician fee and no other "up front" costs. Meaning there is a cost on the back end. The back end cost is billed to your insurance (if insured) or potentially to "the government." It is very unclear what billing to "the government" means. Is that Medicare? Is it some other all-inclusive "government" agency that will pay for anyone (and if this were true, why is it not mentioned by Quest)? And if you are self-pay, do you get billed directly on the back end? And if so, what is the back end charge? Labcorp seems intentionally unclear.
 

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
Self-pay testing at Quest is $119 plus the $10 separate physician fee. Very clear. Labcorp says $10 physician fee and no other "up front" costs. Meaning there is a cost on the back end. The back end cost is billed to your insurance (if insured) or potentially to "the government." It is very unclear what billing to "the government" means. Is that Medicare? Is it some other all-inclusive "government" agency that will pay for anyone (and if this were true, why is it not mentioned by Quest)? And if you are self-pay, do you get billed directly on the back end? And if so, what is the back end charge? Labcorp seems intentionally unclear.
My question after taking the tests at Labcorp was is the results reported to some government agency? Actually Labcorp has PWN Health handling any questions, the person I called said information is reported to some gov health agency, I don't recall which one and I was just curious.

PWN Health phone number is listed somewhere on Labcorp website about the test, why don't you call them and tell us what they say?

I paid labcorp $10, with medicare in one test and without any insurance listed in 2 other tests.

So self pay as no insurance was listed.

No other bills, $10 was it. As noted, they said they will bill the Government, it's not important to me which Government agency they bill.

No idea why Quest is more expensive. What test is Quest giving? Maybe it has something to do with what test they are giving, is Quest using Abbot or one of the 12 other test?

My first assumption is that a government agency contracted with Labcorp and not with Quest.
 

Golfboy307

Active Member
The place I got my antibody test said that they are required to report any positive cases to the CDC and the State Health Board... I signed a form acknowledging that they would. (I was negative).
 

sifter

New Member
I will say I had an experience similar to Dragonbits-
Had flu symptoms in early March before any known cases of Covid in my state - I'm normally sub-normal temp at 97.5 and my temp was elevated to 101 for 3 days which is very unusual for me. Not coughing but sore all over and hard to be comfortable in any position laying down. Had a conventional nasal swab test for the flu virus which was negative- but I didn't believe it. My wife had it a few days after me although her fever did not last as long. (I am 66 she is 61)
As time went on we became more suspicious (based on symptoms and timing) that what we had was indeed Covid. So about 3 weeks ago I had my doc write an order for an anti-body test from Labcorp (they use the highly-rated Abbott test above) and it came out positive for the antibodies. My wife subsequently went to Quest (no doctor order - paid cash about 120$) which came out positive for the antibodies. I think they use the Abbott test also-

As we have related this to our friends more have re-thought flu symptoms they had in Feb and March and wondering if they had the virus also- they are headed out to get tested.

I will say you feel like you have more options (and less anxiety) if you know you have the antibodies. We are still very careful around our friends and family (it is probably still possible for us to transport the virus from someone who is infected if we failed to use the correct protocols).

FYI I am on TRT and also take several supplements, some of which may have mitigated the severity of the virus for me-

My siblings are all asking if I can donate plasma...
 
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