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Why coronavirus antibody discovery in one town in Colorado might be a step forward

Although it may be difficult to find out who may get infected with novel coronavirus, some researchers in public health agree that the more important problem might be who has already been exposed.one biotech firm put the theory to use last week in Telluride, Colorado.

United Biomedical is also partnering with San Miguel County, which includes the famed ski destination Rocky Mountain, to check its 8,000 people for COVID-19 antibodies — making it the country’s first city to do comprehensive antibody testing. The aim, officials said, is to determine from the blood of a victim that proof already exists that the person has been exposed. With that knowledge, authorities will then determine if quarantines and bans need to proceed and whether they need to be as common as they are now around the country in states and towns.
“The purpose of this is to prove that by using research, you can reliably bring a whole county back to its new standard as easily as possible,” said Lou Reese, Co-CEO of United Biomedical and its affiliate COVAXX.

Reese emphasized that the research plan should be extended if successful, “starting right now in the hot-spot places to fix this crisis, avoid the hysteria and bring people into their life and back to
work.”

The theory behind the principle of measurement is not complex. Anyone who contracts the coronavirus will produce antibodies in their blood, normally within 10 days, even though the patient has such a mild case that signs are not present. Antibodies are antibodies that help the body fend off an intruding infection — but they are also unmistakable forensic confirmation of where the infection was.

Since it is widely accepted that someone who has had an infection has at least a partial immunity, a person who has had COVID-19 does not need to stay locked up this weekend like millions of Americans — in New York, California, Washington State and elsewhere across the world. What is uncertain is whether the immunity is long-lasting, or whether those with antibodies to coronavirus will continue to harbor the virus, posing a possible danger to others.

For example, individuals with a MERS infection — a virus of the same species — are unlikely to be reinfected immediately after treatment, but according to the CDC, “It is not yet clear if comparable immune safety would be found for COVID-19 patients.”

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