(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rica already has guidelines for the application of tests to detect if a person was exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 and if they developed antibodies.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, through video, as well as through a statement.
These are blood tests, unlike diagnostic tests, which are nasopharyngeal.
According to the information provided by the Ministry of Health, the uses of these tests will be:
- Biomedical research studies, for example, observational, clinical research, duly authorized, as established by Law 9234, Biomedical Research Regulatory Law.
- Studies of immune response to vaccines against COVID-19, duly authorized.
- Evaluation of the immune response of people who have recovered from COVID-19, for the process of donating and receiving therapeutic convalescent plasma.
- Support for the diagnosis of special medical situations where patients have late complications of COVID-19 such as multisystemic inflammatory syndrome in children and adolescents (MISC) or Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).
- Users of private health services, as indicated by the treating physician.
The minister insisted that this type of test is not used to diagnose COVID-19, nor is it the basis for issuing health orders or to allow entry or exit from the country.
“These tests that are to detect antibodies are not for diagnosis, that has to be clear, it is not that a person is undergoing the test and is going to say that they have an acute infection, what can be said is that there was previous exposure,” he insisted.
Minister explained that there are different types of tests to detect the virus, some for diagnosis, which detect fragments of its genome. That said, it is carried out in a Molecular Biology laboratory, these are the tests called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction).
The second type of test is to find virus proteins that react with the body. These proteins enter and are recognized as foreign agents in the body and what it does is that it produces antibodies to defend itself.