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Researcher develops COVID antibody home test kit; calls it a game changer

Researcher develops COVID antibody home test kit
Posted at 10:14 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 23:41:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. – A small test kit could be a breakthrough in COVID-19 antibody testing, which detects if someone has been exposed to the virus.

Richmond-based researcher Dr. Rebecca Caffrey developed the test kit and has been working to validate its accuracy.

“I’m really excited about this one, because that’s a game changer,” she said.

With a simple finger prick, the FDA-approved test could detect if your body has COVID antibodies.

“This is a collection kit,” Caffrey said. “These are little pipettes, the sponges on the end, and you can poke your finger with a lancet. You just collect the blood on these little things, and it doesn’t have to be refrigerated.”

The test was made so a person can use it in the comfort of their home. When you’re done taking the test, you mail it back to the lab for results.

You won’t have to go to the doctor anymore, and if you’re immunocompromised, or you’re a cancer patient and you don’t want to go to the doctor, or be around sick people but you want a test, you’ll be able to have this mailed to your house,” said Caffrey. “Even people who live in rural areas will be able to get the test done.”

Related: 'I had a cough that I couldn't shake': Chesapeake woman's COVID-19 antibody test shows what she expected

Caffrey said the antibody home test kit will soon be available online, so anyone can access it. Having access to COVID testing has been challenging for some communities.

According to Caffrey, diagnostic testing for COVID antibodies is key to reopening the state faster and getting people back to work.

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