Doctors raise concerns as more COVID-19 tests become available

Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 6:40 PM CDT
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Health officials are raising concerns as more coronavirus tests enter the market. The Food and Drug Administration loosened its

to meet the demand, which has led to doctors concerns.

Mary Lanning Healthcare's Pathology and Laboratory Medical Director, Adam Horn said the main concern is with Serology, or antibody testing.

look for the presence of antibodies to see if a person had an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, which leads to COVID-19.

Dr. Horn said these tests are unreliable because they have more unknowns and are harder to interpret.

"We just don't have enough information to say if you have this antibody, 'Does that mean you're immune or does that mean you're shedding virus or not?' We don't know," Horn said. "The concern is that until we have more data, you could potentially have a false sense of security that you may be exposed and protected when you may not have been."

Mary Lanning is only offering

which looks directly for the presence of the virus, rather than the presence of antibodies. Horn said these tests are a lot easier to interpret.

"It's part of our job to evaluate these tests. To make sure that the tests that we're doing and the processes we have in place are as accurate and as complete as possible," Horn said. "The tests that we are doing at Mary Lanning is the one that has the best degree of accuracy that is available at the moment."

Horn said they are looking into antibody tests but until more information comes out on COVID-19, MLH will not be using them.