Staying safe from Covid has been a challenge since the beginning of the pandemic. Social distancing kept us away from our loved ones for so long, and it’s only recently that we’ve been able to take off our masks and get some fresh air.
Fortunately, normality is slowly returning in 2022. Aside from the many tools we have today to keep the virus at bay, researchers have recently developed a new Covid blood test to check for immunity levels.
In today’s post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this test, including:
- What is it
- How it works
- Who can benefit most from it
Are you thinking of taking a trip to Latin America? We’ll also share some Covid news from the region.
Let’s get started!
What’s the New Covid Blood Test?
Researchers have started developing a test to measure a person’s immunity to Covid-19 by assessing a specific immune response. In fact, investigators could use this test to understand why some individuals show a higher immune response against the virus than others.
This test was developed in Singapore by researchers at Mount Sinai and the Duke-NUS Medical School. Moreover, it’s available in Europe thanks to a licensing agreement with Hyris, a UK-based biotechnology company.
Each test costs around $50. Besides, results can be delivered in less than 24 hours.
However, the test is still undergoing clinical trials and has not yet been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration or by the European Medicines Agency.
How Does It Work?
This test evaluates the immune system’s part that “remembers” viruses and provides long-term protection against them. Based on the body’s immune system response, the test can assess immunization levels.
It’s conducted by mixing a small blood sample with protein extracts from the virus. Then, researchers check whether T cells were activated in it.
Why Are T Cells Relevant?
T cells are a crucial component of our immune system’s long-term memory. T cells are inactive until they encounter an invading organism. Additionally, they can “remember” a virus years or even decades later. While, in contrast, antibody levels decrease gradually after the initial infection or vaccination.
Also, it’s fair to say that T cells can’t prevent infections but they can prevent you from getting seriously ill from Covid.
Who Can Benefit From The New Covid Blood Test?
This test can be especially beneficial for those who are at higher risk of severe infection, such as:
- Immunocompromised individuals
- Elderly people
By taking this test, they could figure out what health precautions they need to take based on how immune they are.
Covid-19 News from Latin America
Planning a trip to Latin America? Here’s the latest Covid-related news from three of the region’s most popular travel destinations:
- Buenos Aires: Winter is coming and wearing masks is no longer mandatory in indoor areas. When it comes to public transport, however, this resolution only applies to subways. Outside Buenos Aires, masks are still required in all forms of public transportation, under national jurisdiction.
- Chile: Local authorities have extended and anticipated winter break, due to a rise in Covid cases. Instead of taking place from the 11th to the 25th of July, this recess will begin on the 30th of June and extend until the 25th of July.
- Colombia: Cases of Covid-19 are gradually increasing in Colombia, but mortality remains the same. However, no restrictions have been announced.
While the Covid-19 virus appears to be under control worldwide, outbreaks continue to occur in different regions. By getting tested, not only are you helping researchers to track the virus, but you’re also keeping everyone around you safe.
Want to get tested? Find testing locations near you with our international directory.