This test may be the newest weapon in NJ’s fight against COVID-19 (Opinion)
When everyone around me had COVID-19, I didn’t get it. Shared a bed with my husband. Ate dinner with my kids. Grandkids slept over. When everyone else was infected, I waited to get it and I never did, but I should’ve gotten it like 100 times.
I have never been vaccinated. I have tested for antibodies and have none. Might I have some sort of natural immunity? Or have I just been lucky?
There are a lot of people in my situation and no one knows exactly why.
There is still so much that we have to learn about COVID-19, and even if you follow the science, you will find it changing from day to day. Doctors, researchers, and anyone involved in studying the pandemic at all have admitted that new information comes to light seemingly on the daily.
Up until now, testing for antibodies has been the gold standard in figuring out immunity or possible immunity to COVID-19. The problem has been that some people who have recovered from COVID-19 don’t have antibodies in their systems. Research has shown that COVID-19 antibodies can fade from your body after about three months. There is also the suggestion that antibodies may not provide immunity as scientists once thought.
Now, in the never-ending search for COVID-19 answers, there is a new promising marker of past COVID-19: T cells.
T cells can remain undetected in your body for years. Everyone has them. They work as sort of an immune cell, which can find and kill pathogens or infected cells.
Some studies show that even people who have tested negative for antibodies can test positive for T cells that can detect and stop COVID-19 from developing an infection. This may be a reason why people like me, who have been exposed to COVID-19 many many times and have not been vaccinated, fail to contract COVID-19.
It is possible that T cells are a source of immunity against COVID-19 but the jury is still out. However, there is a way to test for the particular T cells. It’s called T-Detect.
If nothing else, the website says, “Knowing whether you had COVID-19 can help you and your doctor manage your health.” I am very interested to see what my T cells say about me and how my body reacts when exposed to COVID-19.
Perhaps it can answer the many questions I have, and some of yours.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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