Survey: Most New Hampshire Residents Want To Get COVID-19 Antibody Test | New Hampshire Public Radio

Survey: Most New Hampshire Residents Want To Get COVID-19 Antibody Test

May 27, 2020

Credit Josh Rogers / NHPR

A new survey from UNH and Dartmouth College shows that about three quarters of New Hampshire residents would like to have a COVID-19 antibody test.

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The blood test may help determine if they've been infected or exposed to the virus in the past. But researchers found that only a quarter of survey respondents wanted a COVID-19 test that would test for presence of the disease itself.

Judy Rees is an associate professor of epidemiology at Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine.

She says people who think they may have been sick a month or two ago may benefit more from an antibody test now as opposed to a coronavirus swab test, and that's why more survey respondents said they wanted an antibody test as opposed to a diagnostic test. 

“During active infection, you’re shedding virus, and that’s what they’re testing for. But after the infection, you’re building your antibody response, and that’s what the blood tests are looking for.”

Eight hundred and thirty people were surveyed between May 1 and May 5. 

The state’s current antibody testing results indicate that a large percentage of the state’s residents have not been exposed to the coronavirus.

State public health officials say there is still a lot that is unknown about the tests, and even if someone does test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, they still need to take appropriate social distancing precautions.

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