coronavirus

COVID-19 Antibody Test Reveals it Was ‘All in the Family’

A San Carlos family participated in an antibody test with surprising results: all four members had previous COVID-19 infections

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Despite differing symptoms, ranging from pneumonia to nothing at all, a San Carlos family now believes they were all infected with COVID-19.

The Minjares family of San Carlos recently received positive antibody results from Kahala Biosciences, an Irvine company testing and researching COVID-19 antibodies for companies with front line workers.

Mike Minjares, 52, who tested positive for COVID-19 last month, was invited to participate by the company's chief medical officer, Dr. Michael Miyamoto, who is also his long time friend.

Miyamoto suspected Minjares would test positive for COVID-19 antibodies given his life-threatening bout with the disease which put him in a hospital intensive care unit for five days in early April.

Minjares' wife and two children were also invited to take the tests, which involved a painful finger prick to draw blood.

The results showed all four members of the family had antibodies.

Minjares initially believed his 21-year-old daughter would test positive for antibodies because she had a temperature on the same night his symptoms started.

However, her temperature lasted only one day and her "cold-like symptoms" lasted roughly four days total.

She also experienced another common symptom, loss of smell, for nearly two weeks.

"About three days after I got sick, I couldn't smell anything and I even tried to put a perfume bottle up to my nose and I couldn't smell it and I got freaked out," said Mariana Minjares.

But Mike Minjares' wife and 18-year old son, who were seemingly asymptomatic, also tested positive for antibodies.

While some antibody tests have delivered inconsistent results, Miyamoto said Kahala's tests are top of the line.

"For our part, we've been very careful to select test kits that have been independently validated and have very good supply chain integrity," said Miyamoto.

The Minjares family took the positive results as good news.

"It's a relief, we've seen it, dealt with it, and come out the other side," said Mike Minjares.

But, the big unanswered question for the Minjares family and anyone else who tests positive for COVID-19 antibodies remains: How does this translate into immunity?

Miyamoto took a cautiously optimistic stance based on the behavior of previous COVID-19 infections.

"We would expect there would be some degree of immunity, but I'd have to stress it's still too early to say that," said Miyamoto who urged the Minjares family to keep practicing social distancing and wearing masks.

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