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Test of Antibodies

A new antibody test is being used in Singapore and China to try to identify people who have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 outbreak, according to NPR. It notes that the US is working to develop its own.

This test, it notes, differs from the one being used in the US to diagnose people with COVID-19, and instead uncovers people who were exposed to virus and built up antibodies to it. This way, people who were infected but didn't show any symptoms and those who might have been misdiagnosed could be identified. 

That information, NPR says, could help answer a number of questions about the outbreak. It notes that if many people have been infected but haven't fallen ill that could suggest the virus isn't as lethal as it seems. Additionally, this test could help understand whether children aren't getting COVID-19 because they aren't exposed or if they are exposed but just not getting sick, it says.

NPR further adds that researchers could test older, stored blood samples to determine whether this virus has been circulating among people before being noticed through the ongoing outbreak.