RedRiver Health and Wellness Center conducting antibody study of COVID-19 with focus on Washington County

Nurse wearing respirator mask holding a positive blood test result for the new rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus. Undated photo illustration. | Photo by Samara Heisz, iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The RedRiver Health and Wellness Center is conducting the largest antibody study in the state of Utah and is one of the only private entities that has been allowed to conduct such a study.

They have opened the study to the general public, which is rare since there are not many antibody tests being conducted right now.

“We’ll be able to know the prevalence, and we’ll be able to understand and see exactly how many individuals have been exposed to this and what the true fatality rate is,” Dr. Josh Redd with RedRiver Health and Wellness said. “We initially were going to be doing a massive study where we would test 25,000 individuals so we could get the true fatality rate. However, because of the findings of the study so far, we have switched directions.”

The study is now focusing in on the idea that COVID-19 was circulating in Utah and Washington County as early as late 2019. People who had symptoms of COVID-19 in October, November and December of last year are the focal point.

“We have substantial evidence that this has been circulating far earlier than people have been led to believe,” Redd said. “We are now doing studies with the antibodies that are uncovering information that will have a big impact.”

Antibody tests are being done around the state through RedRiver Health and Wellness, but Redd said the most urgent population now is Washington County.

“We feel like our antibody test is extremely accurate,” Redd said. “We’re working with a Harvard research fellow, an immunologist, researchers up north and a team of doctors. We’re not making one penny off of this, but I feel like this is the direction and a call that I need to do to help the state and the country.”

RedRiver Health and Wellness is working directly with the health department and the state to collaborate and make the antibody study happen. They are also working with one of the largest labs in the country.

Those interested in participating in the study can visit their website here. Those who qualify for the study will receive a lab requisition form that can be taken to the lab to get blood drawn. Results from the test are available 24-72 hours after.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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