Costa Rica authorizes use of coronavirus antibody tests
The Health Ministry on Friday published protocols for the acquisition and use of SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests, the agency announced. These tests can help identify if a person has been exposed to the coronavirus and developed antibodies, proteins that defend against specific infections.
Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose COVID-19, Health Minister Daniel Salas explained, because SARS-CoV-2 antibodies aren’t created until about a week after infection.
Similarly, antibody tests cannot be used to meet the requirements for tourists entering Costa Rica. Visitors are still required to present results of negative PCR test — a diagnostic test that detects the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a person’s respiratory system — from a sample taken at most 72 hours before the flight’s departure.
Among the authorized uses in Costa Rica for antibody tests are:
- Biomedical research studies.
- Immune response studies for COVID-19 vaccines.
- Evaluation of the immune response of people who have recovered from COVID-19, for the process of donating and receiving therapeutic convalescent plasma.
- Support for diagnosis in certain medical situations in which patients have specific complications.
- Users of private health services, as indicated by the treating physician.
If a person tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, it indicates “the person may have previously been in contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but it does not indicate that the person has an acute infection nor that they have developed lasting immunity.”
On the other hand, someone testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies indicates that they haven’t been in contact with the virus, that not enough time has transpired to create antibodies, or that the person is immunocompromised.
You may be interested
Costa Rica urges ‘democratization’ of global vaccine processAFP - April 19, 2021
Costa Rica on Saturday called to intensify Covid-19 vaccine production and to democratize their distribution to meet the needs of…
5 Things You Might Not Know About Patacones in Costa RicaJack Donnelly - April 18, 2021
Take a hard green plantain (plátano), cut it crosswise into rounds, fry them in oil, mash them flat, and fry…
How Does Coffee Pulp Help Costa Rica Reforestation?STEVEN HODEL - April 18, 2021
While the ever growing demands of society continue to encourage the destruction of tropical forests, like in Costa Rica, there…