Local companies launch coronavirus antibody testing strip

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The company MPE Inc. in Milwaukee will manufacture and sell a coronavirus testing strip. 

You put a sample of your blood on it and in ten minutes it will tell you if you are positive or negative for antibodies. If you're positive, it means you have had coronavirus. 

The test was developed earlier this year by Milwaukee company Novir when the pandemic started. MPE employees were tested Aug. 19 and during the first round of testing, ten employees positive for the antibodies.They went for follow-up tests Wednesday, Sept. 2. 

Novir officials say this type of testing is important to make sure everyone stays safe.

“The virus testing you only get half of the story. You need to compliment that with antibody testing, especially as you look at people are going to get flu now. How do they know whether they have the flu or Covid. Not even a physician is going to know that,” Novir President and CEO Alexander Kempe said. 

MPE officials say the test results reveal a lot of important information.

“It will tell you whether you have a specific antibody that is in the process of actively fighting the COVID disease meaning that you have the opportunity to potentially be contagious or that you’ve had it in the past and you’re no longer contagious, but we can use your blood for potential treatments down the road,” MPE President and CEO Hank Kohl said. 

Novir and MPE officials say they expect other large companies and schools will want to use this testing to ensure safety when everyone goes back.




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