IT is always nice to have some degree of peace of mind when it comes to your health, but the last four months have not really delivered that for any of us.

We are all aware of the risks of coronavirus, the signs to look out for and how to avoid it.

Yet we also know that people can come into contact with the virus and pass it on without even realising – and I don’t know about you, but for me any occasional cough for the past four months has been met with a slight touch of anxiety.

With all that in mind, I agreed to take an antibody test when offered one by Brunner Court Dental and Implant Practice, in Witton Street.

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A quick temperature check showed I was happily below the dreaded 37.8 degrees celsius mark, so donning a face mask and protective gloves I went for my test.

Dr Nikhil Oberai, principal dentist and co-owner of Brunner Court, talked me through how the test would work and asked if I had any questions before getting underway.

Around five per cent of people who have had the tests at Brunner Court since it reopened from lockdown on June 8 have tested positive, which Dr Oberai says is roughly in line with the national picture, and more than 70 people have had the test so far.

He said: “I think people that are coming in that had been ill and had a test with the NHS came in thinking they had definitely had it – most people that had it are confident they have had Covid-19.

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“But there have been some people that were very ill and did not get tested by the NHS. They came in thinking they had had flu, but when they got a positive result it made sense to them.”

While we’re chatting, Dr Oberai has already taken blood from the tip of the index finger on my left hand, with a pinprick that was barely noticeable.

The test Brunner Court offers was developed by Una Health and features a sensitivity of 96 per cent and a specificity of 95 per cent.

Dr Oberai, who underwent training with Una Health on how to take the test and interpret the results correctly, insists it is the most accurate he has seen on the market.

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He said: “There are quite a few tests out there and it is important that they are regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and CE certified, which these tests are.

“I think as time has got on the products that are out there now have got better, but it is important to be certain that you are interpreting the results correctly.

“We have a professional giving those results – they can explain them in a way that people will understand. When you are at home you might not know how to read the results or what each result means.”

It takes just 15 minutes for the result to come through with one of three outcomes – either you have no antibodies at all, you have antibodies meaning you have been in contact with Covid-19, or you have it right now.

Fortunately, I was in the first category.

Northwich Guardian:

The tests cost £65 and Brunner Court will be offering them for the foreseeable future, with Dr Oberai particularly stressing the importance of both testing and retesting for his staff and anyone else that wants that reassurance.

One big word of caution is that there is currently no evidence to suggest someone with coronavirus antibodies will be immune from Covid-19.

In fact, new research from King’s College London suggests that coronavirus antibodies only provide a level of immunity for a few months before a person is able to contract Covid-19 again, in the same way we get the common cold time and time again in our lives.

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However, I found that the test did give me some reassurance that at least it seems I am doing the right things to avoid the coronavirus, and that I had not contracted it recently before then.

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