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Covid and Antibodies

Being a curious person, I decided to see if I could have an antibody test for Covid. Many laboratories already offer both the stab-in-the-throat test for persons intending to travel (you should have a negative Covid test, not older than 72 hours, on your arrival) and a blood-based antibody test.

Madeira Medical Center offers this in their lab in Rua Bom Jesus, for three “anticorpos”, but my usual blood laboratory in Rua das Ornelas won the job, testing for two antibodies for a mere 35€ (without a doctor’s prescription; with prescription, the test is free of charge).

My line of thought was that with all the Coronaviruses we are dealing with all the time (the common cold is often triggered by Corona) I might have already developed a defence against the new virus on the block. Turns out I have no antibodies.

Double exposure to Corona might also explain why so many people are asymptomatic. But it could not explain – at least not to me – the WHO – World Health Organisation’s – statement of Monday, claiming that asymptomatic people “very rarely” infect others. Today, this statement was retracted. Well…

The fact is: we have five patients who have not yet been declared Covid-free in a hotel in Cabo Girão. Once they are deemed healthy, there will be no logical reason in the world for the preventive measures in place at the moment, that is, until July, when tourists may or may not bring it again. But the Health Service’s surveillance at the airport is working very well. A Madeiran brought the disease with him from the Continent; it was caught right away. He was in contact with nobody and is now duly in quarantine.

We are very lucky on this island. Even people who fear that they will catch it, cannot. To do that, they would have to break into that hotel and kiss a patient there. Not my cup of tea…

Ursula Hahn

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Madeira Weekly