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Covid-19 Nasal Swab vs Covid-19 Antibody Test

Covid-19 Nasal Swab vs Covid-19 Antibody Test

The nasal swab test can be used to determine if a person has COVID-19, but there is also a blood test that can potentially detect if you have had an infection in the past. Tests for COVID-19 include a nasal swab, which is a non-invasive test of the nasal cavity and nasal mucus. 

The nasal swab test checks if you currently have an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. The antibody test checks your blood for antibodies that may tell you if you have the viruses that cause it. 

Although it can take 1-3 weeks for antibodies to develop and symptoms to appear, antibody tests are much more likely to indicate the current presence of the virus than nasal or throat swabs, as seen in a nasal / throat swab test. Antibody tests are not used to diagnose whether a person currently has COVID-21, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease. Studies suggest that many are infected with COVID-19, and antibody tests could be a useful tool to determine whether they have a known status. The presence of a specific antibody indicates that the body has developed antibodies to the blood proteins needed to fight infection (e.g., antibodies to COVID-21).  

If the antibody test is negative, this means that the test could not detect any COVID-19 antibodies in the blood. However, some tests, including the COVID-19 antibody tests, can give a negative result that is not correct. There are two types of antibodies against the COVID-19 virus: positive and negative. 

It is important to remember that someone may have a positive antibody test and still be contagious to others if the infection occurred just a few days before the test.

If you find any kind of symptoms related to covid or other health care issues please contact to nearest primary care physicians near you and get preventative care services

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.


Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 07/09/2020

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  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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