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LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas is gradually opening the door and life is slowly going back to normal, but Arkansans are looking for ways to protect their families as well as neighbors and friends while reconnecting. Antibody tests, or serology tests, are thought to be a useful resource to identify asymptomatic individuals, who have recovered from COVID-19 or who may have had COVID-19 and recovered, but were never tested. However, any antibody tests on the market claiming to accurately determine antibodies may be exaggerating the tests' capabilities to diagnose COVID-19, according to the Arkansas attorney general's office.

"Arkansans are being thoughtful as they reconnect with their loved ones, but are also considering the risks to those in the most vulnerable populations," Attorney General Rutledge said in a news release. "Those who are trying to take advantage of Arkansans during the pandemic by making unsubstantiated claims about COVID-19 related tests will be identified and prosecuted."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "serologic test results have limitations that make them less than ideal tools for diagnosing people who are sick. Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the test may not find antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection."

The attorney general's office released these tips for Arkansans to use when considering antibody testing:

• Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose someone as currently sick with COVID-19; contact a health care provider if active COVID-19 is suspected.

• Most health insurance pays for COVID-19 testing if a person has symptoms or has been exposed.

• Do not believe advertisements for vaccinations or medications to prevent or treat COVID-19 that are not recommended by the CDC or a health care provider.

• Tests should be administered by a health care professional -- there are no approved or reliable take-at-home antibody tests.

• Do not disclose personal or financial information to an unknown person or on an unfamiliar website or social media because it could result in identity theft or fraud.

"Paying a lot of money does not make a test more accurate or keep you safe from COVID-19," the release said.

Call the attorney general's office at 800-482-8982, email [email protected] or visit for more information.

Society on 05/17/2020

Print Headline: Antibody testing marketed to have exaggerated capabilities

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