Following fifty samples undertaken by the Falkland Islands hospital, KEMH, during the third round of SARS-COV-2 antibody testing, two positive results turned out, and were from people who would have caught the virus while in the United Kingdom, reported the Islands' Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rebecca Edwards.
A positive result means that an individual has been exposed to the virus at some point in the past, and does not mean that they have the virus or can transmit it. The test is most sensitive if taken at the time when the body is most likely to mount an immune response, which is usually between 21 days and six months after exposure.
“Both of these positive test results indicate that they were from people who would have caught the virus while in the UK and not the in the Falkland Islands. The fact that these are the only two positive results since we started testing, shows that the actions the community have taken over the past few months have been very effective in limiting exposure to and spread of the virus, and reinforces how important it is that people follow Government advice, explained Dr. Edwards
She added that surveillance swabbing shows that the virus is not currently present in the community, so this result is not something that people should be concerned about. I would encourage people who think that they have had symptoms of coronavirus this year to take advantage of the antibody testing so that we can build a better picture of exposure in the community.”
The Chief Medical Officer also pointed out that the reagent used for antibody testing has a limited shelf life so antibody testing is only being carried out at the end of each month.
When the next round of testing is available an announcement will be made asking for people to come forward and with details as to how to request a test.
In related news KEMH has been receiving enquiries from individuals requesting a Covid-19 swab to be undertaken prior to travel. These can be arranged by the following method:
Individuals will need to send their details below to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading “Travel Swab”. Where possible please submit the following information at least 10 days before travel:
1. Full Name, Address and Date of Birth of individual requiring swab
2. Contact number that KEMH can call you
3. Date individual will be leaving the Islands
4. Country you are travelling to AND the requirements of that country (i.e. swab must be taken within 72 hours of departure)
KEMH will contact you to arrange an appointment for you to attend and will call to advise your results.