Whitney’s COVID-19 Experience

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Whitney Street, an employee of ARCpoint, likes to keep a busy schedule at work and home. The mother of two is typically getting things done with a get-up-and-go attitude, but that came to a screeching halt a few months ago. 

One morning, she woke up and found she simply couldn’t “get up and go” and felt like she had been “hit by a truck.”And as the day continued, her aches began to worsen, and regular behaviors like holding her phone were proving difficult. 

She had been working from home, limiting her exposure by only going out when necessary, and practicing safe social distancing, so she didn’t think there was any way she could be infected with COVID-19. But Whitney stayed home and self-isolated, as a precaution, just in case there was any chance that’s what was happening. Her body aches and fatigue continued for weeks, and she didn’t even have the energy to go get tested for COVID-19. 

After 16 days of ongoing symptoms and pure exhaustion, she woke up one morning with a renewed energy and was able to get back to her busy schedule. But as soon as her initial symptoms cleared, she lost her sense of taste and smell, which are also symptoms associated with COVID-19. This lasted for an additional 14 days, bringing her total timeline of symptoms to 30 full days before she finally felt somewhat back to normal. 

While she never got a COVID-19 viral test done, Whitney was pretty sure that’s what she’d been battling. After making a full recovery, Whitney started her new job at ARCpoint Labs. It was there that she learned about some additional testing options. Her new co-workers suggested she get an antibody test, and possibly even a Tru-Immune test, which tests for neutralizing antibodies and gives you a protective immunity score. 

Whitney took both tests, and they both returned positive results. The antibody test indicates her body naturally produced the antibodies necessary to fight off a COVID-19 infection. Her Tru-Immune results show that her body did have protective immunity at the time of the test. This information can be extremely valuable when it comes to making decisions about donating convalescent plasma, which can save the lives of patients with severe castes of COVID-19. In fact, once Whitney had her Tru-Immune results, she immediately made her appointment to donate plasma, and she plans to do it again as soon as she is able.

Those antibody tests are just two of the tests in ARCpoint Lab’s full range of COVID-19 testing, which we offer as part of our commitment to keeping communities safe. ARCpoint also offers viral and antigen testing, which detect an active SARS-CoV-2 virus in the body. These tests can help you make informed decisions about returning to work, traveling, and whether or not you need to self-isolate. Take a look at our COVID-19 Testing Options to determine which test is best for you, and find your local ARCpoint Labs to make an appointment. Still have questions? Visit our COVID-19 FAQ page to learn more.

When we asked Whitney what advice she would give to someone who thinks they might have COVID-19, she said, “Listen to your body. And be sure to stay home and self-isolate. Don’t go out if you have any symptoms, except to get tested.” She also advises, “Don’t do what I did and skip the test. If you are showing symptoms, or think you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, go get tested. Trust ARCpoint Labs for a fast turnaround, so you can get your results quickly, protect your family, and get back to being YOU as soon as possible.” 

Whether you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for an active infection or are displaying symptoms yourself, it is important that you contact your Primary Care Physician and self-isolate to slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

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New Test Determines Protective Immunity to COVID-19

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New Test to Determine Protective Immunity to COVID-19 Now Available through Partnership between Ethos Laboratories and ARCpoint Labs

 

ARCpoint Labs, the diagnostic testing lab franchise with nearly 100 locations across the U.S., is partnering with Ethos Laboratories to bring a brand new test to market that measures protective immunity to COVID-19. Tru-Immune™ by Ethos Laboratories is the first Surrogate Viral Neutralization Test (sVNT) to evaluate COVID-19 protective immunity in the United States. Unlike other tests currently on the market, Tru-Immune™ detects the presence and magnitude of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that could prevent future infection.

ETHOS Tru_Immune No Background-100

“Until now, COVID-19 antibody tests could only indicate potential exposure, by detecting the presence of binding antibodies. Tru-Immune™ by Ethos Laboratories shows your individual level of protection and your body’s current ability to fight off COVID-19,” says John Constantine, CEO of ARCpoint Franchise Group. “ This test provides personalized information that has not been available before, and it could be the strongest defense we have to fight COVID-19 until there’s a vaccine. We are excited about what this means for individuals, and the value it provides as they make decisions about returning to work and other activities safely and with confidence. ARCpoint Labs is proud to be the first national network of collection sites for Tru-Immune ™ as we roll this out.”

According to a recent article published by Johns Hopkins University , neutralization assays are the ‘gold standard’ for determining if a patient has effective antibodies and protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2. “Tru-Immune is the first test to evaluate protective immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that does not require the use of live virus, cell culture or even pseudovirus,” says Dr. Joshua Gunn, CSO of Ethos Research and Development. “These significant innovations allow us to process samples in less than 3 hours, compared to viral neutralization tests that can take 3-5 days to produce results.”

Blood tests capable of detecting anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have flooded the market, but none can measure the viral neutralizing capacity of these antibodies. “If test results indicate the presence of neutralizing antibodies, that means you’ve been exposed and your immune system is capable of inhibiting the virus if you are exposed again,” says Gunn. More studies will be required to better understand how long the protective antibody response lasts in recovered patients, and this information will be key for developing effective vaccine strategies. “Behind the scenes, we’re all geeking out about the science involved in this test,” says Constantine, “but we’re most excited about how this information will help with vaccine development and convalescent plasma donations, which could be potentially life-saving.”

Tru-Immune ™ has not yet been approved by the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization. Ethos Laboratories has submitted data and statements to the FDA for review. ARCpoint Labs is now offering Tru-Immune ™ in select markets across the U.S. Click here for more information or to schedule an appointment, go to: www.arcpointlabs.com/find-your-location/

ABOUT ETHOS LABORATORIES

Ethos Laboratories is a clinical diagnostic laboratory located in Newport, Kentucky, dedicated to improving the lives of patients suffering with pain, providing personalized diagnostic services through cutting-edge testing and continuous innovation. Turn-around is among the fastest in the industry, presenting novel levels of transparency, honesty, excellence, and integrity in the laboratory industry.

The company focuses on providing excellent quality, service, and support for every customer, and the highest standards for accuracy and efficiency. The laboratory has created innovative tools, resources, and processes that have improved provider insight into sources of pain, increased understanding of medication compliance and management, and fuels the pursuit of continuous improvement including launching a telehealth integration platform. www.ethos-labs.com

ABOUT ARCPOINT LABS

ARCpoint Labs is a full-service national third-party provider/administrator of accurate, reliable, and confidential diagnostic testing for individuals, companies, and legal and healthcare professionals. We’ve been in the drug and alcohol testing business for over 18 years, and our staff has over 60 years of combined industry experience. ARCpoint Labs has nearly 100 locations across the country. www.arcpointlabs.com.

ARCpoint Labs Neutralizing Antibody Test by Ethos Laboratories

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

ARCpoint Labs | Amanda Harley | (864) 313-6149 | media@arcpointlabs.com

Ethos Laboratories | Tim Adams | (916) 616-2893 | Tim.Adams@ethos-labs.com

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Do Your Part: Social Distancing

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As the world continues to shift behaviors to slow the spread of COVID-19, keeping space between you and others in public places is one of the best practices to keep yourself safe while doing your part to slow the spread. Known as social distancing, people are encouraged to keep at least 6 feet of space between themselves and others in public, avoid large gatherings, and stay out of crowded places.

Keeping your distance not only helps slow the spread, but it can also help you stay safe and healthy. Individuals may be infected with COVID-19 days before they show symptoms, so it’s best to practice caution when interacting with others that do not live in your house. If someone is infected and sneezes, coughs, or even talks, it’s possible the disease will spread through the air which is why it is important to practice safe social distancing when in public.

Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone is at risk of being infected by COVID-19 and spreading it throughout their community. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community. Steps you can take to help limit the spread while practicing social distancing are:

  • Staying 6 feet away from others in public
  • Avoid gatherings of any size outside of your houses such as a friend or family member’s house, restaurants, gyms, parks, shops, and other gathering spots
  • Consider curbside or delivery for groceries or prescriptions
  • Use a face covering or cloth mask when in public
  • Work from home whenever possible
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis
  • Digital/distance learning for students

If you would like more information on how you can help protect yourself and your family during these times, please use official sources of information such as the Center for Disease Control.

Other articles to consider:
How To Protect Yourself and Others
CDC: Social Distancing
People Who Are A Higher Risk for Severe Illnesses
Households Living in Close Quarters: How to Protect Those Who Are Most Vulnerable
Living in Shared Housing
Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
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Managing Patient Worry – a Look at Statistics in COVID-19.

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In the current climate, it’s easy to be terrified. My patients are and I’m sure others are too. This is now the most talked-about disease in history with over 2.1 billion media mentions since January 2020[i]. As physicians, it’s our responsibility to educate and de-catastrophize our patients. In these trying times, that’s harder than ever, but with a few stats in your back pocket, you can share information without spreading the disease of panic.

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Number of cases vs. our population

The total number of cases rises every day – so do deaths. At the time of writing (4/19/2020) there have been 690,714 confirmed cases and 35,443 deaths[ii], according to the CDC. Hearing those numbers on their own can be, understandably terrifying. They need context that we as physicians can provide.

As a nation of 328,000,000, the number of currently confirmed COVID-19 infections comprises just 0.21% of our population. Now, we theorize that the confirmed number is much smaller than the actual prevalence – our emergent data[iii] suggests it might be as much as 5% of the population, meaning as many as 16 million people have already had COVID-19 without being tested, diagnosed, or hospitalized. But even if the total number is more like ten or fifteen or twenty million, we’re talking about something that has impacted fewer than a third to a half of the people who have had a strain of the flu this year[iv], which the CDC estimates is between thirty-nine and fifty-six million and comprises approximately 11-17% of the US population.

You have an immune system

Another fear-inducing piece of this pandemic is that as the days have gone on and face coverings are an aspect of every-day life, public perception about natural resistance to diseases has become skewed. We’ve become societally sensitized to the point where everyone thinks getting sick is assured as soon as contact is made. This simply isn’t supported by statistics or our understanding of immunology. We are all wearing the ultimate personal protective equipment all the time – skin, with its pathogen-blocking abilities, is one of the reasons we have survived as a species for thousands of years[v]. Add to that our body’s ability to rapidly dismantle, engulf, and eradicate the vast majority of microscopic invaders before an initial encounter turns into disease, and we’re looking at a huge majority of humans who will likely never succumb to COVID-19, even if they come into direct contact with a person who has it.

Careful, not suspicious

One of the worst side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the widespread suspicion and xenophobia left in its wake. Suddenly, people aren’t only worried about diseases themselves, but are actively encouraged to avoid each other – as if that other person might be the ultimate carrier and bringer-of-destruction. This attitude is counterproductive to living in a community where we care for each other, but also to physiology, since stress is a well-documented aspect of weakened immunity – especially those stressors that are chronic and ongoing, like living through a pandemic that requires separation from loved ones. In a metanalysis of more than 300 empirical articles, authors describe the relationship between stressors and measurable parameters of the immune system. They conclude that long-term stressors, like living through a natural disaster, decrease lymphocyte proliferation and cell differentiation throughout the immune system by as much as 53%[vi]. And although they acknowledge that more study must be done to differentiate which types of stressors create these severe immune-suppressing outcomes, they conclude that using our fight-or-flight system to combat long-term stressors and worry is a misappropriation of our body’s innate resources and leads to ‘immune effects that are detrimental’.

There will be an end

For the majority of people, the not-knowing is the hardest part of this period. Many of them have not been alive in a time where a new disease emerged, and none of us have experience with the way our world-wide governments have responded to it. In times like these, understanding the real scope of this disease and the way our bodies are equipped to handle it, may be potential sources of solace. Ultimately, though, this is a war of attrition, wherein we need to encourage everyone to do the best they can – physically and emotionally – until its eventual resolution.

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Dr. Chris Cherubino, the medical director of ARCpoint Labs, is a chiropractic physician and certified medical examiner. She is committed to healthcare information access and demystifying the diagnostic process in the realms of musculoskeletal, neurological, and laboratory medicine. In her work with ARCpoint, she attempts to provide information and education to other physicians in order to increase patient compliance, understanding, and wellbeing.

 

 

[i] https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/covid-19-coronavirus-infographic-datapack/

[ii] CDC, Real Time cases in US. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

[iii] Myer, Madrigal. “A New Statistic Reveals Why America’s COVID-19 Numbers Are Flat

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/04/us-coronavirus-outbreak-out-control-test-positivity-rate/610132/

[iv] CDC, Flu Season 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

[v] National Academy of Science. How Infection Works. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209710/

[vi] Seagerstrom, Miller. “Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361287/

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COVID-19 Antibody Testing

From stay-at-home orders to social distancing, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing the way of life across the country. With hundreds of thousands of confirmed cases of the virus, you or someone you’ve come in close contact with may have been infected. If you believe you’ve been infected or are experiencing some of the symptoms, then you should call a doctor for your next steps.

With limited COVID-19 testing available, those without life-threatening symptoms will be instructed to complete a 14-day quarantine to limit the spread of the virus. Within those 14 days, the body begins to develop antibodies that fight off the virus and improve recovery. Found naturally in the bloodstream, these antibodies can indicate if you have been infected with COVID-19, even if you did not display symptoms of the virus.

Testing to see if your body has developed antibodies can be done with a simple blood draw test, such as the ARCpoint Labs Antibody Test, which provides results in roughly 48-72 hours. While the presence of antibodies doesn’t necessarily prevent future infections, they can reduce the severity of future infections of the current COVID-19 strain. If you have not experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 or have not been symptomatic for at least 7 days, then you SHOULD be tested. These tests can give you peace of mind and help doctors track the spread of the virus. You can be tested at select ARCpoint Labs locations, with additional locations being added regularly. To be connected with the nearest ARCpoint Labs location offering the test, please visit our Antibody Test Page.

Please note, the COVID-19 Antibody Test is not intended to serve as an official diagnosis of COVID-19 or inform infection status, but to identify those who have recovered from COVID-19 and potentially provide important information about how widespread and contagious this disease actually is.

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