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Serology (immunity) tests are next step in COVID-19 fight

‘Inability to know who is infected is like showing up to a knife fight with a blindfold on’

As the United States battles to gain more access to COVID-19 swabs and testing kits, the next step will be to determine who has developed immunity to the virus, and that will be done through serology testing, said Dr. Elizabeth McNally, director of Northwestern’s Center for Genetic Medicine. 

“It’s critical that we have these tests and use them broadly,” McNally said. “The inability to know who is infected (and recovered) in this pandemic is like showing up to a knife fight with a blindfold on.”

McNally is available for media interviews. Media can contact Kristin Samuelson at (cell) 847-769-6596 or ksamuelson@northwestern.edu to set up an interview. 

More quotes from McNally:

“Since we’ve been so limited for viral testing due to lack of swabs and testing kits, the next step will be to know who developed immunity. The way to do this is to use serology testing. There are number of companies developing simple finger stick tests for testing antibody development. We will also need larger efforts to know how much of the population has been infected and developed immunity. This will be critical for mounting a population-wide defense and potentially help guide getting people back in the work force.”

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