I had symptoms that could have been corona symptoms last week. Unfortunately the testing capacity in my country (Germany) is not sufficient to test every person with symptoms at the moment, so only people who had verified contact can be tested, which I didn't. It would be very useful, though, to know in hindsight whether I had it, since this would probably make me immune and thus make me much more flexible. For example I could help old or infected people without having to fear infecting them or me.

So is there or will there be a way to test later on whether I had it or not? Or will I never be able to know?

  • Welcome to MedicalScience.SE! For a number of reasons outlined in this meta post, we can not, and will not, give medical advice. If you or someone else has a question regarding personal health, you should see a doctor. For further information on how this site is supposed to work, what is on-topic or not, you can take the tour, visit the How to Ask page and Medical Sciences Meta. Mar 18, 2020 at 10:43
  • I am at Spain, and you should see a doctor is extremely inappropiated advice in this moment. You cannot go to hospital if you don't need O2 suply
    – user17671
    Mar 18, 2020 at 11:37
  • I have heard you should have some antibodies on blood. Impossible to ask for a blood analysis at the moment at least at Spain. If you had symptoms, you should try to be at home and protect the people who live with you. Desinfect every metalic surface at your home is another thing I would do in your situation
    – user17671
    Mar 18, 2020 at 11:38
  • And wash the clothings at 60ºC is another thing they are saying at our tv
    – user17671
    Mar 18, 2020 at 11:44
  • I cannot say whether the testing capacity here in Germany is actually at its limit. But I can confirm that it does not make sense to test someone who has not had contact with a confirmed case. If someone who is very unlikely (i.e. you ) is tested, and the test is positive, the probability that you really had COVID-19 would be somewhere between 0.1 % and 1.5 %. I.e. you better not bet on any kind of immunity. If you are interested, you can read some background in my answers medicalsciences.stackexchange.com/a/21379/11479 and medicalsciences.stackexchange.com/a/21399/11479. Mar 18, 2020 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


China has been using antibody testing to see if people had been exposed in their convalescent phase. The USA didn't want to do antibody testing and have wanted to recover virus using a PCR test, but PCR won't show historical infection. Open source antibody tests have been described but presumably will need to wait for FDA/CDC approval ( https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-blood-test-antibodies.html https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.17.20037713v1 ).

There's no guarantee that infection with one strain gives protection against other strains, nor that immunity is going to be long lasting.


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