When a kidney disease patient develops symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID – 19) or one is exposed to the COVID 19 virus, one must contact the nephrologist immediately. Also if a patient comes in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the virus, then also needs to contact the nephrologist immediately. In haemodialysis centres chances of infection in patients and dialysis staff is very high. In india especially in delhi ncr most of the dialysis centres are having adequate space. Main dialysis unit hall, staff’s rooms, dialysis patients waiting hall, cafeteria, restrooms etc don’t have adequate space to maintain social distancing. Morbidity and mortality are also very high in patients with kidney diseases, post kidney transplant and dialysis patients.
COVID-19 diagnostic testing
- Molecular test.
It is also known as PCR test. This test detects the genetic material of the COVID 19 virus using a technique of the lab called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) A testing executive collects fluid from the nose, throat swab or less often from saliva.
- Antigen test.
Antigen tests can produce results very fast using a throat swab or nasal swab to get sample fluid. This test is faster and cheaper than the molecular tests. A positive Antigen test is considered very accurate but there is an increased chance of false- negative results. So these tests are not as sensitive as the molecular tests.
For a COVID 19 test one needs to provide sample mucus from nose or throat or may be sample of saliva. The sample needed for testing may be collected at the home, hospital or a drive-up testing centre.
- Nose or throat swab.
For this process a healthcare professional inserts a thin flexible stick with a cotton attached at the tip into the nose or at the back of the throat, brushes the swab to collect a sample of mucus. This might be somewhat uneasy. For the nasal sample there might be swabbing into both the nostrils to collect mucus samples for the tests. The swab gets rotated in place before being pulled out, then the sample gets sealed inside a tube and is sent to the lab for further analysis.
- Saliva sample.
Though not considered the best way to get a good sample.
COVID-19 antibody testing is also known as serology testing. It is a blood test which is done to find out if one has a past infection with SARS- COV– 2 , the virus that causes the COVID 19 disease.
How much time to develop COVID19 antibodies?
After one is infected with COVID 19 virus, it may take two to three weeks to develop enough antibodies which are detected in an antibody test. So it’s important that one is not tested too soon.
For how long COVID19 antibodies will last?
Antibodies may be detected in ones blood for several weeks after one recovers from
COVID-19 These antibodies may provide some kind of immunity to the COVID 19 virus but currently there is not enough evidence present to know how long these antibodies or past infection protects one from getting another infection.
Why COVID19 antibodies done?
Antibody testing for the virus may be done if –
- One had symptoms of the virus in the past but testing was not done
- If one have to do a medical procedure in a hospital or clinic
- One had a positive infection in the past and wants to donate plasma, a part of one’s blood that contains antibodies that can help treat others who have severe cases of COVID 19
To conduct the antibody test a healthcare professional typically takes a blood sample usually by a finger prick or by drawing blood from a vein in one’s arm.