In an attempt to aid national efforts in overcoming the global pandemic, the FCS Group of Companies offers COVID-19 antibody testing to detect seroprevalence in our communities. Our Corporate Clients will have the opportunity to determine the seroprevalence in their organisations, thereby aiding the national programme in determining the extent of COVID-19 and helping to plan for the mitigation of possible future waves of the disease.
Seroprevalence made simple
Seroprevalence determines the presence or not of antibodies to COVID 19 in an individual’s system at the time of testing. It is not a test (like the nasal PCR test) that tells you whether you currently are infected by the virus. It does not test for the presence of the virus, rather for the presence of antibodies that are needed to fight the virus. Antibodies develop in sufficient quantities as result of an individual being exposed to the COVID 19 virus and the test thus gives evidence whether the person has antibodies to the virus- which is most likely the result of previous exposure to the virus. Although it may mean immunity to the virus, this is not always the case. It also does not preclude an individual from getting the virus again as antibody levels may lower and disappear over a period of time. Some people may also have had the virus but have not developed sufficient antibodies to the virus to prevent them from getting sick again. It is also true that some people developed antibodies to the virus without having been sick in the past.
So what does seroprevalence mean?
If a large enough proportion of a population (example a company) is tested, one can determine with relative accuracy what the percentage of individuals are that have been exposed to the virus (with limitations as set out above). Should a company know, for example, that 30% of their workforce has current antibodies against the virus it may help to plan for a possible ‘second wave’ of infections and may aide in sick leave and staffing planning. By knowing seroprevalence rates in an organisation, long term budgeting and easing of lockdown regulations planning can also be enhanced. It will also assist national planning regarding the lifting of lockdown regulations.
How can FCS assist your organisation
FCS has procured the relevant SAHPRA approved tests than can be performed on individuals, at the workplace, and the result is available within 10 minutes after the test was performed. The test takes the form of a fingerprick test and a drop of blood is then placed in a cassette, with the result displayed after 10 minutes. FCS can perform these tests on-site at any organisation and our trained clinical staff will perform the tests and record the results. The results are given to each individual and the option is given to the patient to discuss the result with a registered telemedicine doctor, should the patient wish. Each patient signs a form of consent beforehand, and if the patient gives consent, the seroprevalence of the group tested will be made known to the organisation as a percentage of total tests performed, although individual test results will not be made known to the company.
In the FCS Group we believe we can play a significant role in helping our companies, and society as a whole, in determining the extent of the COVID 19 pandemic, thereby enhancing ongoing planning in developing relevant response strategies on a local and national level.
Should you be interested in utilising this service for your organisation, please contact Dr Izak Maree on firstname.lastname@example.org or directly on 082 602 6668. We offer the service to a minimum of 10 individuals in an organisational environment and will soon be announcing how individuals can also get access to individual testing.
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