Couple who had COVID last spring gets tested for antibodies and the results are surprising


LONE TREE, Colo. (KDVR) — It’s been almost a year since Pam Pierce tested positive for COVID-19, and she was very interested to know if she still had antibodies.

“It was about March 14, I started getting symptoms,” the Lone Tree woman said. The sickness started with a dry cough and a throbbing headache, but progressed to aches, pains, chills and fever. Next came the difficulty breathing.

“For a minute there I was like am I going to live? This is really scary,” Pierce said. After two trips to the hospital, Pierce began to feel better. Her whole family tested positive for antibodies in April.

Then last week Pierce went to her local grocery store and got a test for antibodies again, and she is still positive almost one year later. Her husband got tested as well, and he was negative. “I’m a little shocked that I still have it, but he doesn’t,” Pierce said.

Doctors say these kinds of results are not surprising. “Seeing this discordance between the two people is very much expected. One might have had milder disease, one might be older and one might be younger,” said Dr.Michelle Barron with UCHealth.

She says patients’ antibody responses have varied dramatically, and researchers still aren’t sure what level of protection they offer, or for how long.

“Just because they have more antibodies, does that mean you are more protected? The answer is we still don’t know,” Barron said.

Barron still recommends people who have had COVID get the vaccine, especially as we see more variants in the community.

“The vaccine does seem to do better than natural immunity in terms of being protective against some of these variants,” Barron said.

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