Blood donors will help researchers figure out how long novel coronavirus antibodies last

Chicago’s Field Museum Of Natural History Hosts Blood Drive Amid COVID-19 Crisis

A blood drive in Chicago at the Field Museum of Natural History. | Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The American Red Cross is testing all donated blood for novel coronavirus antibodies and will use that information to learn more about the spread of COVID-19. They’ll also check back in with donors to find out how long their antibodies last.

If someone has antibodies to the novel coronavirus, it’s a sign that they were, at one point, infected with the virus. While the tests on the market now aren’t perfect, many people are still interested in getting them — including people who thought they had COVID-19, but weren’t able to get tested when they were sick.

One goal of the antibody testing initiative is to encourage more people to donate blood, says Susan Stramer, vice president of scientific affairs at the Red Cross. Stay-at-home orders…

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Author: Nicole Wetsman