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White House coronavirus task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx warned Americans against purchasing unreliable coronavirus antibody tests in a press briefing Tuesday.
Birx warned Americans against buying antibody tests she said are circulating the Internet, asking everyone to wait until those tests are approved and are 96 percent or more accurate.
“Some of the tests that may be available could give you a false reassurance, a false positive or negative, so please wait until those tests are available and validated,” Birx urged.
Approved tests would also reveal how widespread asymptomatic cases are, Birx added.
She noted the importance of such a test given that another wave of coronavirus could hit the country in the fall. Birx predicted another seasonal round of the virus “won’t be the way it is now” come fall, expressing optimism that a fully developed antibody test would “identify, isolate and contact trace.”
Birx on April 2 said that antibody tests could be ready “soon, within this month if universities help us, absolutely.”
The first rapid coronavirus blood test that would measure antibodies and immunity was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 24, but Dr. Marc Siegel said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Friday the test is “not entirely there yet.”
Siegel said he had contacted Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who told him the current approved tests, made by Cellex Inc., have a one in three rate of not getting it right.
"They say you don’t have the virus when you actually do," Siegel added.
Dr. Bill Morice, president of the Mayo Clinic Laboratories, which is conducting trials for a blood test to detect antibodies, told “Fox & Friends” the "serologic test" will allow doctors to identify people who have been exposed and those who are potentially immune to the virus.
Morice said that the blood test will be able to detect that a person has had the coronavirus even if they were asymptomatic.
“About a week to two weeks after you're exposed or have symptoms and even if you don’t have symptoms with the virus, your body during that time is actually mounting a response. Part of that response is a production of a protein called an antibody which is specific for the SARS virus.”
“In the treatment, known as convalescent plasma, the patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly and help decrease the need for ICU beds and ventilators,” the New York Blood Center said in a statement to Fox News.
Andrew Cuomo, governor of the hardest-hit state of New York, has repeatedly said an antibody test could be key in determining who is safe to return to work and school.
Fox News' Yael Halon and Joshua Nelson contributed to this report.