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New blood test can tell if you are at risk of Covid – research

Fitness & Health:

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we are continuing to learn more about the disease. Although cases have significantly lowered compared to during the height of the pandemic, people are still becoming infected every day. Now a team has established a “simple” way to determine who could be most vulnerable to reinfection.

The finger-prick test, developed by biotech firm ImmunoServ Ltd in collaboration with Cardiff University researchers, measures the presence of immune T cells that can recognise SARS-CoV-2 – the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

As part of the research, more than 300 volunteers were recruited across the UK to assess the novel test.

It found that those with the largest T cell response to the virus were best protected from COVID-19 over the following three months, regardless of their levels of antibodies to the virus.

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Therefore, it is believed the test will help determine who might need more focused interventions such as repeated booster vaccines.

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Doctor Martin Scurr, lead author, said the study highlighted the potential for more accurate assessment of an individual’s immunity to Covid.

“Many individuals worry about their risk of contracting COVID-19, whether they have been previously vaccinated or not,” he said.

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“Our test identified that it is the level of T cell response induced by prior vaccination or infection that is associated with the risk of that individual contracting COVID-19 in the months following the blood test.”

University professor and co-senior author of the work, Andrew Godkin, added: “Long-term immunity screening using such a test would allow us to monitor longevity of responses that prevent COVID-19 and identify the most vulnerable members of our society who may need earlier booster vaccinations.”

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And there have been more than 200,000 deaths where COVID-19 has been listed as a cause of death in the UK.

For some the symptoms of Covid don’t clear up after 12 weeks meaning they have long Covid or post-Covid syndrome.

Common signs of long Covid are:

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of smell
  • Muscle aches.


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