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What is an antibody test and who should get one?

Doctors with UnityPoint Health and MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center both say antibody tests need to go through a physician.

DES MOINES, Iowa — UnityPoint Health and MercyOne Des Moines Medical say they have the capabilities to test for antibodies to see if you've been exposed to COVID-19.

The tests can measure your body's response to a foreign organism. 

In this case, COVID-19.

Dr. Rossana Rosa, an infectious disease specialist, and infectious disease director Dr. Ravi Vemuri, both say that to get one, it needs to be ordered by your physician. 

"One thing that is very important is that they are more reliable if you are at least 14, or preferably, 17 days out from your symptoms," Dr. Rosa explains.

Dr. Vemuri added: "The most important reason's to do it for institutions like the CDC, academic institutions, public health institutions like the Iowa Department of Public Health."

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MercyOne has already started using plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients on current hospital patients. 

Both infectious disease doctors say we are still learning about the virus and that just because you've had it once doesn't mean you won't get it again. 

WATCH: Complete coronavirus coverage from Local 5 on YouTube