Salt Lake City immunologist weighs in on immunity test for COVID-19

Dr. Ray Firszt with Tanner Clinic
Posted at 2:54 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 14:17:13-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Dr. Ray Firszt, an immunologist with the Tanner Clinic, sat down with Fox 13's Max Roth at noon Wednesday to discuss the latest developments regarding the coronavirus in Utah.

On an immunity test:

"If you get exposed, you’re going to develop something called an IGM antibody, which is an early antibody, and people might start hearing about that antibody as the immune tests become more available. But what’s more important is the development of the IGG antibody, which is the later antibody and it tends to develop about 1 to 2 weeks after exposure, and it tends to stick around, so that is the antibody that will protect you, hopefully, and give you an immunity to the virus upon re-exposure.”

"It would be incredible, and it would maybe give us a strategy to reintegrate back into society, because if we could identify the people that are immune to the virus, we know that they shouldn’t, hopefully, be contagious anymore.”

”So this test is becoming available. There’s a point of care test, a blood spot test that was on the network last week, that is becoming available hopefully in the next week or two. And in addition there will be a lab test being developed hopefully by ARUP and national labs as well.”

On the situation in general in Utah:

"While the news is great and its encouraging, the incubation period of this virus is up to 14 days, so we need to see the trend of this out a little while longer. I would say in two to three weeks if the trend continues to decrease, I think that the state will look at our isolation efforts and determine what the next steps would be, but it’s a little too early at this moment, however it’s quite encouraging and very hopeful.”