Abbot Laboratories has introduced a new coronavirus test that can detect whether somebody has been infected and recovered. The two previous testing kits that the company won approval for—an automated test for labs and another that can tell within 13 minutes whether somebody at a testing site is infected—could only detect active COVID-19 infections, reports Reuters. The new test detects antibodies in people who may have been infected but only showed mild symptoms or none at all.
Abbott says it will ship 1 million of the new tests to customers this week, followed by 4 million by the end of the month and up to 20 million by June, CNBC reports. Antibody testing "will provide more understanding of the virus, including how long antibodies stay in the body and if they provide immunity," the company says. (Meanwhile, an early virus sign is now supported by science.)