GARDENER (CBSLA) – A Garden Grove doctor says he will take rapid tests for coronavirus to Orange County.
In just 10 minutes, the rapid serology test uses a drop of blood to determine if an individual has the antibodies to fight COVID-19.
"If we have the antibodies, that means we have been exposed to the virus," said Dr. Michael Dao.
Unlike the FDA-approved, CDC-recommended regular coronavirus swab test, Dao said this rapid serology test isn't perfect. The test has not been reviewed by the FDA.
Dao said the test is not intended to diagnose. Instead, he hopes to use the test to help delay the spread by identifying those who may have been exposed to the virus and don't know it.
"This is more for 80 percent of infected patients who have no symptoms," said Dao. "They are walking and they don't know they are infected. That's when they spread the virus."
Dr. Jim Keany, who works in the Mission Hospital emergency room, said the serology test is not 100 percent reliable and cannot be used as a diagnostic tool. However, it could help curb the spread of the virus as it has already done in South Korea.
"This is all compensation," he said. "We are swapping precision for speed. Having an immediate response, while it may be inaccurate in a small percentage of cases, is helpful."
Keany said that the serology test is better than nothing.
"Given the fact that we essentially have no proof, compared to that proof, I would appreciate that proof if we did."
The Orange County Health Department warns against the use of COVID-19 tests that have not been approved by the FDA, but Dao said it still plans to bring thousands of rapid serological tests to Garden Grove next week.