Quest Diagnostics has introduced two new post-COVID panels, which are comprehensive tests currently available for consumers to purchase that offer information about lingering health issues associated with long-COVID.
These panels aim to give consumers a deeper look into their health, helping to prepare them for meaningful discussions with their healthcare providers.
While the U.S. administration declared the COVID-19 public health emergency is soon set to end, according to the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC), nearly one in five American adults who had COVID still suffer adverse side effects, otherwise known as long COVID-19, leading to a secondary health crisis.
“Millions of COVID-19 survivors have been seeking further insight into their persistent symptoms that just won’t go away,” says Richard Adams, VP and general manager of consumer-initiated testing at Quest. “The best way to assess what’s happening inside your body is through a trusted laboratory test that offers actionable insights.”
Long COVID side effects, which are still relatively new to researchers, can occur for four or more weeks post-infection. These symptoms include heart palpitations, fatigue, hair loss, chest pain, joint pain, and brain fog. More so, according to the CDC, nearly 80% of people who experience long COVID-19 say they have limitations during their day-to-day activities.
The Post-COVID-19 Basic Panel collects data for:
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test to measure the amount of CRP in your blood, a protein produced by the liver and is a marker of inflammation.
- Thyroid function Test to indicate abnormal thyroid function, which is a potential parallel to long COVID.
- Vitamin B12 levels as many symptoms of long COVID are the same as those with a vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Vitamin D levels since many health conditions that put you at high risk for severe COVID symptoms and complications are also related to vitamin D deficiencies.
- Urinalysis to identify lower urinary tract symptoms and kidney injury caused by inflammation from a severe COVID-19 infection.
In addition to the above analytes, the Post COVID-19 Expanded Test Panel includes:
- Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) and Hepatic Function Panel are comprehensive screening tools that assess over 15 different substances to evaluate glucose levels, kidney function, liver function, electrolyte, and fluid imbalance, and more.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) to measure 15 components of your blood to help identify bleeding disorders or infections and to evaluate abnormal levels of specific blood components. Red blood cells and T cells could be impacted due to a previous COVID-19 infection, and the CBC can detect COVID-19-related blood abnormalities.
- Ferritin levels correlate to the body’s iron status. Low ferritin levels may indicate an iron deficiency, while high ferritin levels could indicate signs of disease.
“These two post-COVID-19 panels will empower consumers with the data they need to find the best recovery path and ease long COVID-19 symptoms. Further, they will help ignite conversations among researchers and healthcare providers to understand COVID-19 side effects better,” says Yuri Fesko, MD, VP for Medical Affairs, Quest.