Covid-19 FAQ

There are many reliable sources for information relating to Covid-19 please see some below:

World Health Organisation

Public Health England

NHS

The Department of Health

What is Covid-19?

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

The majority of people with COVID-19 have uncomplicated or mild illness (81%), with non-specific symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough (with or without sputum production), anorexia, malaise, muscle pain, sore throat, dyspnea, nasal congestion, or headache. Rarely, patients may also present with diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Loss of taste and smell has been reported early in the infection.

A relatively small proportion of people, particularly but by no means exclusively in those aged >70 years, will develop severe illness requiring oxygen therapy (14%) and approximately 5% will require intensive care unit treatment. Time from the onset of the infection to hospitalisation can be up to ~13 days. Of those critically ill, most will require mechanical ventilation. The most common diagnosis in severe COVID-19 patients is severe pneumonia; this can progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome, and life-threatening multi-organ dysfunction and death. Mortality has been estimated at between 1 and 2% of those infected, the higher figure in men.

If you are currently experiencing symptoms or have been in contact with a person now infected you should implement the government recommended guidelines for isolating. Please click here for symptoms and latest guidance.

What tests are currently available for Covid-19

Covid-19 PCR Swab Testing Kit

Covid-19 Antibody Test

At this time, the global scientific community is still assessing the meaning of the detection of antibodies in our fight against Covid and there is divided opinion on whether antibodies confer immunity.

The Female Health Clinic is registered with the Quality Care Commission and the same body has given permission to carry out this testing under it’s registered services. This applies to a laboratory test only and home result kits are NOT approved for use.

This test is therefore fully legal in the UK.

What do specificity and sensitivity mean when used in test reliability quotes?

  • Sensitivity measures the proportion of actual positives that are correctly identified as such (e.g., the percentage of sick people who are correctly identified as having the condition).
  • Specificity measures the proportion of actual negatives that are correctly identified as such (e.g., the percentage of healthy people who are correctly identified as not having the condition).

What is inside my Covid-19 Antibody kit?

The COVID-19 Antibody test requires a finger prick blood sample to be collected and sent back to our accredited UK laboratory for testing. Inside your home testing package, you will find:

  • A finger prick blood collection device
  • Sterile wipes for the area
  • Gauze and plasters
  • A pathology form
  • A postage-paid envelope to return your sample to us

If I test positive for Covid-19 and recover, or test positive for antibodies, will I be immune from future infection?

“The WHO organisation has made it clear there is currently no evidence of how long antibodies last for or what level of immunity they give. The WHO continues to review the evidence on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Most of these studies show that people who have recovered from infection have antibodies to the virus. However, some of these people have very low levels of neutralising antibodies in their blood, suggesting that cellular immunity may also be critical for recovery. As of 24 April 2020, no study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans.”

At this time, the global scientific community is still assessing the meaning of the detection of antibodies in our fight against Covid and there is divided opinion on whether antibodies confer immunity.

How can I be sure your tests are safe and accurate?

At this time, the global scientific community is still assessing the meaning of the detection of antibodies in our fight against Covid and there is divided opinion on whether antibodies confer immunity. Our Abbott Antibody Test is approved by Public Health England.

The Female Health Clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission and the same body has given permission to carry out this testing under it’s regulated activities. 

What is ELISA technology used in testing

ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is a plate-based assay technique designed for detecting and quantifying substances such as peptides, proteins, antibodies and hormones. Other names, such as enzyme immunoassay (EIA), are also used to describe the same technology.

What is CLIA technology used for testing?

Chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) is a widely used detection method which combines the highly-sensitive chemiluminescence assay with highly-specific immune response and affinity of antibodies. Currently, CLIA is the latest to be developed and the most advanced immunoassay technology.

I have heard that Covid-19 Antibody tests are not reliable?

Testing should be undertaken 14 – 21 days or more following exposure or onset of symptoms.

Sensitivity & Specificity for each test are as follows:

  • IgG Abbott Antibody Test – 99.9%
  • IgM / IgG Antibody Test – 96.5%

It is important to distinguish between different types of antibody tests. Several rapid tests currently being marketed are rapid lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) devices which provide a quick, point-of-care approach to antibody testing. These have not yet proven reliable enough for use as an individual antibody test.

We are NOT using these tests. The test we are using is a laboratory based test detecting (IgM and IgG) antibodies.

How do I protect myself and my family against Covid-19

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face. 

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

We can offer Dr Consultations to discuss your risks and preventative measures that you should be taking.

Click here to find out more at The World Health Organisation

Is their a vaccine for Covid-19

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. Click here to check in with the World Health Organisation for latest updates

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