Dr Hilary Jones on GMB

Coronavirus tests: Dr Hilary Jones explains the different ways to test for COVID-19

Good Morning Britain's resident doctor is delivering regular coronavirus advice

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Dr Hilary Jones, Good Morning Britain‘s resident medic, explained the importance of coronavirus tests.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, with the UK death toll jumping to 1,228 last night (March 29).

As Brits settle into the second week of coronavirus lockdown, many are urging the government to increase testing.

The TV doctor detailed the different types of coronavirus tests available and stressed how vital this information could be.

He said: “What we would really like to know is how many of the population have had it and had just mild symptoms.”

This would enable key workers who are self-isolating without the virus to return to work.

Dr Hilary Jones on GMB
Dr Hilary discussed coronavirus tests on Good Morning Britain (Credit: ITV)

What are the coronavirus tests?

There are two types of COVID-19 tests.

The antigen test test looks for the virus and reveals whether the patient has the virus now.

This can be done with a swab of the nose or throat.

Dr Hilary explained: “It lets us know who has the virus now so we can isolate them and keep them away from the rest of the population.”

This is effective as it can allow doctors to know what they are treating and can ensure this person is kept away from the public and vulnerable people.

The second type of coronavirus test is the antibody test.

An antibody test measures the level of antibodies we make in our bodies in response to an acute virus.

Those antibodies can take between 10 days or up to two weeks to be produced.

The medic elaborated: “We can measure those antibodies after an acute infection, when people have already recovered so we can tell who has had it.”

If you have had coronavirus are you immune from getting the virus again?

The second test is designed to measure two antibodies, one is called IGG and one is called IGM.

One happens more quickly, while one happens more slowly but is detectable six months after recovery and beyond.

If those antibodies are still evident this far into the future, then you are immune from coronavirus at this point.

While Dr Hilary admitted there is still no definitive answer on this, this test will allow doctors to monitor what happens and to see if this immunity lasts.

Coronavirus questions

Since the outbreak started, there has been a lot of confusion around COVID-19.

Luckily, Dr Hilary Jones has been on hand to clear up many coronavirus rumours live on Good Morning Britain.

Find more coronavirus advice here and on the NHS website.

Good Morning Britain is on ITV, weekdays at 6am.

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