Doctors could soon prescribe test to see if you had coronavirus, but didn't know it

If you’ve been thinking about a scratchy throat and every random cough, you’re not alone.  

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., Dr. Jason Littleton says his patients are concerned over every ailment.  

"...A lot of people have called me wondering if they had a viral syndrome,” Dr. Littleton said. 

He has seen and treated a few COVID-19 patients, both in his private practice and at the hospital.

Looking back to early February, Dr. Littleton now believes he saw his first COVID-19 case before officials believed the virus spread to Florida.  

“Someone who had actually traveled to Asia and came back with the flu. In retrospect, we were like that could have been COVID-19,” Dr. Littleton said.

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange) — also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIH)

Right now, big laboratories with locations across the country are working on a test that would let doctors prescribe bloodwork that would let them know if someone had COVID-19, but has since recovered.  

“LabCorp is preparing to offer serologic testing for COVID-19. However, we have not yet determined when that testing will be available,” a spokesperson for LabCorp told FOX 35 News.

Dr. Littleton explains what that means.

“Serological testing is antibody testing. It’s using a finger prick, getting a sample of blood, and we’re using that to look for antibodies that a person has developed,” Dr. Littleton said.

He says tests like that could prove beneficial as research on COVID-19 continues and advances.

“It’s not available for widespread use and not every hospital even has that capability yet, but people are working on it.  

"The idea of potentially using plasma treatment transfusion to eventually help critically ill people, that seems like a pretty important remedy to this crisis,” Dr. Littleton said.