Stanford begins research to determine who is immune to COVID-19

An electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February shows the virus that causes COVID-19.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Stanford Medicine has developed and started using a new blood test that can show whether a person has or has had COVID-19, Stanford Health Care confirmed today.

Spokeswoman Lisa Kim said the new test was launched on Monday under FDA guidelines. She said the test will help determine which health care workers might be at low risk for working with COVID-19 patients.

People who have already had COVID-19 might have protection against getting the disease again because of the antibodies they develop. No one knows yet whether that immunity is permanent.

Kim said Stanford’s new test will help researchers understand the disease’s prevalence in the community.

Another antibody study

Stanford Blood Center began collecting blood plasma yesterday from people who have recovered from COVID-19. That effort is not connected to the new blood test, but it is also all about the antibodies.

Spokesman Ross Coyle told the Post that the Blood Center wants to use blood plasma from recovered patients to save critically ill patients. The hope is that the antibodies from the recovered patient’s blood can help the dying patient beat COVID-19.

Coyle said people who want to donate plasma can fill out a form at The Blood Center will contact people who meet the criteria to donate. He said there were two donors as of this afternoon.