Dear Patients of AFP Health,
We hope that you have all been staying safe. As we continue to adjust to these unprecedented times, we remain committed to providing you with regular updates.
OFFICE REOPENING FOR REGULAR VISITS
As of Monday, May 4th, AFP Health has reopened its doors for regular visits of healthy patients. We will continue to care for all our patients with any type of respiratory or contagious illness via telehealth. Our top priority continues to be your health and safety, and we understand that over the last few months, your medical concerns and conditions have not stopped. With the reopening of the office, we strive to continue meeting those needs with the high quality care you have come to expect from us. Our routine diagnostic testing including ultrasounds and nuclear stress tests will also resume and be available for your preventive care.
If you already have an appointment scheduled in May, you will be receiving a call some time before your appointment to confirm it. If you do not feel comfortable coming into the office for your visit, we will continue to offer Telehealth visits via video or phone chat.
If you had an appointment in March/April that was cancelled, please call our office to reschedule this appointment. We will do our best to accommodate patients’ schedules while continuing to maintain appropriate distancing to keep both our patients and staff safe.
COVID ANTIBODY (IgG) BLOOD TEST
For those of you who have been closely following the current pandemic news, you may have heard about a new blood test for the Coronavirus SARS Cov-2. We would like to offer some guidance on these blood tests and what they actually mean.
The new blood test has been developed to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood. If antibodies are present, this indicates that a person has been exposed to Coronavirus in the past and has developed antibodies against it. While this may be helpful from a public health and research standpoint, it does not translate to useful clinical information for the following reasons:
- The test is not specific for COVID-19, meaning if you have had any strain of Coronavirus in the past (which most adults have had in the form of a common cold), you will likely have these antibodies. The test cannot differentiate between COVID-19 and other common Coronavirus strains at this time.
- A positive test does not indicate that you are safe from getting COVID-19, nor does it infer any increased immunity.
- A positive test does not diagnose active COVID-19 in patients having symptoms. The preferred test is still a nasal swab for diagnosis of COVID-19.
- The sensitivity (detecting a positive test) and specificity (detecting specific COVID-19) of the blood test has not been determined as the test has been given emergency use authorization by the FDA and has not gone through the usual detailed analysis for accuracy.
As you can see, there are many limitations to the blood test and the actual use for the test remains unclear. While we hope that the blood test gets more refined and helps make clinical decisions, at this time we do not believe that they have any additional benefit for your care.
As always our office is available to answer any of your questions and concerns. Please call us at (805) 494-8520 if you have additional questions or would like to set up a Telehealth Video visit with us. We strive to provide you with the most relevant and accurate medical information while continuing to practice evidence-based medicine.
Thank you all again for your patience and cooperation during this unfamiliar time. Please stay safe, practice good social distancing and wash your hands frequently.
Dr. Bader Iqbal
Dr. Zoya Furman