COVID-19 antibody testing research underway in Brown County

All participants in the study have previously been a part of other surveys done by UW-Madison's Survey of the Health of Wisconsin
Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 4:53 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - County health officials say they are partnering with the Wisconsin DHS and UW-Madison’s Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) to do a population health study that will examine the presence of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

Health officials say the studies will provide health experts with a better understanding of where the virus has been, and to identify communities which may be at risk for future outbreaks.

According to the Brown County Health Department, the Past Antibody COVID-19 Community Survey, also known as PACCS, will be led by SHOW and will determine the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies throughout the state.

Antibody testing will help officials understand how many people were infected with COVID-19, even if they didn’t experience symptoms.

Antibodies are proteins the body produces when fighting an infection. Researchers say there’s still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the virus.

“If you were infected, are you always going to have positive serology (blood tests) or is it over a course of time? Is it going to go back to negative? We don’t know that, so that’s why it’s very important that we do these studies, 4:32,” said Ann Steinberg, Brown County Public Health.

Although testing shows how many people were infected, it doesn’t provide information regarding the current amount of positive cases, and isn’t an alternative to diagnostic testing, according to health officials.

Everyone participating in this study have previously been a part of other SHOW surveys.

The participants will receive antibody testing quarterly throughout the next year, and will be asked to donate a blood sample for a test against the SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

Participants who haven’t shown relevant COVID-19 symptoms for the three days leading up to their appointment will be allowed to enter the building for a blood draw.

Learn more about future surveys by CLICKING HERE, or by calling 608-890-3840. New volunteers are not being accepted at this time.

The testing began Monday, July 13, and finishes on Friday.

Anyone interested in finding out availability for antibody testing in Brown County, as well as the requirements to do so, can contact their primary care provider.

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