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Going Somewhere Special?  Don’t Forget to Schedule a COVID Test

If you have big plans COVID-19 testing should be an integral part of your planning. Whether traveling, going to a concert, or the big game, the activity you plan may require you to show proof of a negative COVID test. When organizing your plans don’t forget to schedule your COVID test in advance. When making arrangements, you should research COVID-related requirements beforehand to reduce your disappointment and frustration if you can’t participate in an event or activity.


Making plans now? Schedule the COVID test that best suits your outing!

 

International Air Travel and COVID-19 Testing 

If you’re planning international travel by air, you may have to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter another country — and a negative test to get back in the U.S. Typically a COVID will be required even if you’re vaccinated. So which COVID-19 test do you need? Not all COVID-19 tests are created equal — and not all are suitable for international travel.

A PCR test (polymerase chain reaction) is considered the “gold standard” of testing and the most reliable for detecting active COVID-19 infections. 

Antibody tests, the blood tests that identify if a previous COVID-19 infection caused your immune system to produce COVID-19 antibodies, won’t do you any good when it comes to travel. Also, keep in mind that rapid antigen tests, which check for proteins on the virus’s surface, are not accepted as a valid test for entry into some countries, including Canada. These tests have quick turnaround times but are far less accurate than PCR tests. 

For travel outside of the U.S., you will most likely need to get tested within 72 hours of your scheduled departure. This is a common requirement of many countries and some states. Remember to check the rules of each country or state you’re visiting before you leave.

Cruise Line Travel and COVID-19 Testing

If you plan to take a cruise, your testing options are slightly more relaxed and varied. Some cruise lines still require a mandatory three-day window for passengers to produce a negative COVID-19 test prior to embarkation, while just recently, a handful of cruise lines shortened the span to two days.

Vaccinated passengers can present antigen or PCR test results. Unvaccinated passengers must provide proof of a negative PCR test. However, with the possibility of last-minute changes, cruise passengers should keep a close eye on their cruise line’s websites to monitor any updates to their covid testing policies. You can check the requirements on entering and re-entering the U.S. on the Centers for Disease Control website before you travel.

Large Gatherings and COVID-19 Testing

Concerts, sporting matches, and other large events will now require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. It is best to check the venue’s website for specific COVID testing requirements. Most venues require testing within days of the event so it’s best to schedule your appointment in advance.

For the most up-to-date instructions, it’s best to check the venue’s website for COVID Testing requirements. This will allow you to plan ahead to coordinate your test well within the required time frame.

Be at Ease

Whether you plan to travel near or far, celebrate in large gatherings or small, testing is recommended to help minimize risk. Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, especially  COVID-19 testing. Schedule an appointment online, or call our store to reserve your time. 

We provide you with a safe and clean alternative location for specimen collection. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life.

We are here to help.
Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.

 

COVID-19 and the Vaccine-Generated Antibody Test

Have you received one of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? If so, you may be wondering if your body has developed antibodies.

Select Any Lab Test Now® locations are now offering the Vaccine-Generated Antibody Test to help you determine if you have antibodies.

Use our location finder to locate an Any Lab Test Now near you.

Want to learn even more about antibodies? See our simple infographic below! You can also read more in our CEO’s COVID-19 update!

Do You Know Your COVID Testing Options?

Are you confused about which COVID test is right for you? In this video, we will walk you through each COVID test currently available, so that you will know which one is the right fit. With rapid COVID Testing, you can have your results back in virtually no time at all.  Learn more about the COVID PCR Test, COVID Antibody Test, and the COVID Antigen Test. At Any Lab Test Now, we strive to get you in and out of your COVID test within 15 minutes.

Click here to watch the video!

Are you A, B, O, or AB? Why you need to know.

What’s your type? No, we don’t mean tall, dark, and handsome. We’re talking about blood type. Do you know yours? Up until now, only about 43 percent of Americans could say yes.

However, people have become very interested in what type of blood runs through their veins — thanks to COVID-19.  Internet searches for blood type skyrocketed 100 percent after two studies made headlines a few months into the pandemic.

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June of 2020 suggested people with type A blood may be at greater risk for contracting COVID-19 and experiencing severe symptoms, while people with type O blood have a lower risk. However, another study published a month later disputed some of these findings — stating a lack of connection between blood type and COVID-19.

Bottom line from all the buzz — don’t rely on blood type for protection against COVID-19. Any blood type is susceptible to severe symptoms.

Breaking Down the Blood Types

Now that we have your attention, let’s get to the bottom of blood types. Most of us have about four to six liters of blood pumping through our bodies. Your blood type is inherited from your parents.

There are eight different blood types:

A positive – One of the most common blood types in the United States, accounting for 35.7 percent of the population. Someone with this blood type can only give blood to someone else who is A positive or someone who is AB positive.

A negative – This is a rare blood type, only seen in about 6.3 percent of the U.S. population. Someone with A negative blood can give blood to anyone with A or AB blood type.

B positive – About 8.5 percent of Americans have this blood type. Someone with this rare type can give blood only to people who are B positive or AB positive.

B negative – Someone with this very rare type (1.5 percent) can give blood to anyone with B or AB blood type.

AB positive – Even though this is a rare blood type, accounting for only 3.4 percent of the population, anyone with AB positive blood is known as a universal recipient — which means they can receive blood or plasma of any type.

AB negative – This is the rarest blood type — only 0.6 percent of the U.S. population has it. Someone with this blood type is known as a “universal plasma donor” because anyone can receive this type of plasma.

O positive – 37.4 percent of the population is O positive — making it one of the most common blood types. Someone with this can give blood to anyone with a positive blood type.

O negative – Someone with this rare blood type can give blood to anyone with any blood type. 6.6 percent of the U.S. population is O negative.

Why You Should Know Your Blood Type

 There are many reasons why you should know your blood type just as well as your Social Security number. Here are the top three.

Safe Blood Transfusions

The discovery of blood types was an important step forward in medicine. An Austrian scientist named Karl Landsteiner is credited for the discovery in 1901. Before that, doctors thought all blood was the same, which meant blood transfusions were more life-threatening than life-saving.

Now, experts understand that mixing two different types of blood can be fatal. For a blood transfusion to be safe and effective, the recipient must receive donor blood that is compatible. Otherwise, the blood of the person receiving the transfusion will try and fight off the donor blood, causing a toxic reaction.

Before a blood transfusion, your blood will be tested and matched with the correct donor blood ensuring you receive only what’s compatible.

Plan a Healthy Pregnancy

Studies suggest women who have type O blood may face a higher risk of a condition called diminished ovarian (egg) reserve, meaning it might be more difficult for these women to conceive.

Another important reason a woman should learn their blood type is to determine Rh factor incompatibility. If an expectant mother has Rh-negative blood and her baby has Rh-positive blood, it can lead to something called Rh incompatibility.

These pregnancies need to be closely monitored to make sure the mother’s body doesn’t produce antibodies that attack the baby’s blood, which could result in complications.

Blood Donations

Knowing your blood type puts you in a better position to help others. Blood donation is considered the gift of life. Blood donors help people of all ages — accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplants, and those battling cancers.

According to the Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Many times local organizations will also put out a call for specific types of blood donations after natural disasters. Knowing your blood type can help you respond to the needs quickly.

Finding Out Your Blood Type

Finding out your blood type can be done with a simple blood test. Any Lab Test Now offers a blood type screening test that requires no fasting or a doctor’s order. Test results generally come back in 24 to 72 business hours. You can learn more about blood type testing here.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including finding out your blood type.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 185+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help.

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Antibody Testing

More than 100 COVID-19 vaccines are in some stage of development, but most experts project it will be 2021 before a vaccine is ready to roll out to the public. As the coronavirus rages on, researchers are also focusing their attention on understanding who has had the virus, to help manage the spread and better prepare communities as economies reopen. A key component to that is COVID-19 antibody testing, also called a serology test.

The antibody test — a simple blood draw — does not diagnose active coronavirus infections, but it does let a person know if they have been infected with the virus in the past. Even people who never had symptoms could have had the coronavirus. The serology test shows that by detecting the antibodies, or specific proteins, the body makes in response to the virus when it enters the body. If the test does find those proteins in the blood, it could mean that person has some level of immunity to the virus in the future. Although the CDC does not know conclusively if the antibodies will prevent a person from getting reinfected, antibodies, by nature, are the body’s immune response to an infection. That scientific fact, along with a desire to know how the pandemic is impacting the population — and what groups might be more or less vulnerable — has led to widespread antibody testing by everyone from state and local governments to employers and individuals.

Any Lab Test Now is providing the COVID-19 antibody test by appointment in-clinic or on-site at a workplace when contracted by an employer. Three different antibody tests are offered: IgG, IgG/IgM, and IgG/IgM/IgA.

Let’s break down what all those letters mean.

IgG Antibody Test:

This test detects IgG antibodies that develop in most patients within seven to 10 days after symptoms of COVID-19 begin. IgG antibodies remain in the blood after an infection has passed. These antibodies indicate that you may have had COVID-19 in the recent past and have developed antibodies that may protect you from future infection. It is unknown at this point how much protection antibodies might provide against re-infection.

IgM Antibody Test:

This test detects IgM antibodies. IgM is usually the first antibody produced by the immune system when a virus attacks. A positive IgM test indicates that you may have been infected and that your immune system has started responding to the virus. When IgM is detected you may still be infected, or you may have recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection.

ALTN offers a combination test for the IgM and IgG COVID antibodies, which provides the status of both recent/current infection and past viral exposure.

IgA Antibody Test:

IgA antibodies are primarily found in high concentrations in the mucous membranes. IgA provides protection against infection in mucosal areas of the body such as the respiratory tract (sinus and lungs) and the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines). The IgA antibody can also be detected if you have active or recent exposure to the virus, as is seen with the IgM antibody.

People should be asymptomatic for at least seven days prior to taking an antibody test, and it will take one to three days to get results back. The cost may be covered by your insurance plan or the government, so check with your healthcare provider.

Results

A positive test result indicates it is likely you have had COVID-19 and may have developed an immune response to the virus.

A negative test result means no antibodies to the virus were found in the blood and you did not have COVID-19, Although it is possible, if there is an active infection, the body has not had time to produce antibodies yet.

False positives (specificity) and false negatives (sensitivity) are possible with the tests, but rapid advancements have allowed us to offer lab tests that are 99-100 percent accurate.

Any Lab Test Now only works with labs whose tests have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA, and are CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) certified, and CAP (College of American Pathologists) accredited. These criteria ensure that test results meet and exceed industry standards for clinical laboratory testing.

In this uncertain time, when there are many more questions than answers, Any Lab Test Now wants to put you at ease and provide you all the tools you need to manage your healthcare. We are here to help.

Taking Charge of Your Health in Uncertain Times

Taking Charge of Your Health in Uncertain Times

Just one scroll through your social media feed and it does not take long to find someone with some sort of personal story about how coronavirus continues to change the world around them. You might see kids going to school via ZOOM, parents working 40 hour-a-week jobs from the dining room table or friends asking for advice about something that’s not so easy to find during a pandemic.

During this unusual time, you may have many questions about taking control of your health and maintaining your health.

When Your Health Depends on Regular Lab Testing

How often do you get blood work? Is it just for your annual checkup? If you suffer from an acute illness, like diabetes or a thyroid condition, you are probably rolling up your sleeve a lot more than once a year.

As always, you want to be sure that you have a trusted option for routine lab work, so it’s important to know that during the pandemic, Any Lab Test Now is not testing for COVID-19. If you are required to get frequent lab tests, you can rest assured that we do provide a safe and clean location.

Diabetes is not something you can take lightly. According to the CDC’s most recent report, more than 34 million Americans are living with the disease. It is essential and potentially lifesaving for diabetics to continue to monitor their condition. During the COVID-19 outbreak, many diabetics are getting a Diabetes Maintenance Panel at Any Lab Test Now instead of risking exposure at a medical provider’s office.

If you know anyone who suffers from thyroid issues, you know living with it is a constant battle to stay balanced. There are two types of thyroid disorders. Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder and it consists of dealing with weight gain, mood swings, fatigue and even hair loss. On the other end of the spectrum, hyperthyroidism causes you to lose weight unexpectedly. Finding a treatment that works for you is crucial in order to feel your best and avoid further issues. Most likely, your doctor is going to require that you consistently get blood tests like the Thyroid Panel at Any Lab Test Now to monitor your levels.

No matter if it is thyroid disease, diabetes, or another acute illness, we make it easy to get the required tests that you need to help you and your doctor determine whether your prescriptions need to be adjusted.

Limited Exposure

Mid-March 2020 is when most of the country started adjusting to coronavirus quarantine life. As you probably know very well by now, all that time sheltering in place limited your exposure to sunlight and now your vitamin D levels could be out of whack. If you are struggling to keep your eyes open or experiencing leg cramps you could have a Vitamin D deficiency.  

Why is Vitamin D Important?

  • Builds strong bones
  • Helps to improves lung function
  • Protects against heart disease
  • Reduces risk of diabetes
  • Prevents depression

Low levels of Vitamin D can increase your risks for potentially fatal conditions like heart disease, vascular disease or stroke. The best way to know if you are getting enough Vitamin D is to get a specific blood test that we offer at Any Lab Test Now. You can get most test results back within 24-72 hours, and you can share those details with your physician.

If you are Vitamin D deficient, you should keep in mind Vitamin D is not a natural ingredient in many foods. You can talk to your doctor about either taking a supplement or adding foods rich in Vitamin D, like salmon, mushrooms, or yogurt to your diet.

During the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, Any Lab Test Now is a safe, affordable location for you to check your Vitamin D levels, as well as get access to more than 1,000 other lab tests that we offer.

We are committed to helping you manage your healthcare so that you can make educated decisions that can improve your quality of life. There has never been a more critical time for Americans to take control of their health. Any Lab Test Now is here to help you Be at Ease during this challenging time.