Many events throughout Marshall and the surrounding area were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. With more and more individuals receiving the Covid-19 vaccine as well as diminishing numbers of positive cases county-wide, Fitzgibbon Hospital has scheduled its annual health fair which will be held from 7 to 10 a.m., Friday April 30, in the atrium at Fitzgibbon Hospital. This year’s array of available labs include a new offering at no additional charge; Covid-19 anti-body test.
“We have several lab tests that people routinely seek during the health fair including their blood sugar (Hemoglobin A1C), cholesterol levels (Lipid Profile), thyroid function (TSH), blood count for anemia (CBC) and a metabolic panel that tests fluid and electrolytes along with kidney and liver function,” said Richard DeFord, Marketing Coordinator at Fitzgibbon Hospital and coordinator for the annual event. “This year, as part of this standard package, we have added the Covid-19 antibody test which will tell an individual if they have antibodies from having Covid-19. We are providing this at no additional charge as part of this package.”
The antibody serology test looks for antibodies in the blood to determine past infection from the virus that causes Covid-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibodies detected by this test are proteins created by the body’s immune system soon after infection or vaccination. A positive test result for antibodies shows that you may have had an infection of Covid-19. However, other viruses in the coronavirus “family” may also yield positive results.
While this test is not used to confirm current infection, it may be helpful if you suspect you may have been exposed to the virus in the past and had few or very mild symptoms but were never tested for the actual infection. Please note that a positive result is not an indication that you are protected against Covid-19 in the future. To receive these tests, individuals are required to avoid food or drink for at least 12 hours prior to the event.
This primary package at the Fitzgibbon Hospital Health Fair costs just $30, with no additional copays, making this annual health event important for many who want to monitor their health. In addition to the standard package, screening for prostate cancer (PSA) is available for men for an additional $10, and a test for the level of Vitamin D is an additional $20. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to fatigue and tiredness, pain in the bones, joints and muscles as well as sour mood, more frequent illness and anxiety.
Many individuals have forgone receiving medical screenings because of concerns over Covid-19 during the pandemic this past year. These delays in receiving routine medical screenings can lead to significant health challenges down the road, because early detection of cancer and other health conditions is the most important tool in successful treatment. A representative from the scheduling department at Fitzgibbon Hospital will be on hand to help individuals schedule their mammogram, colonoscopy, bone density scan and other important screenings.
“Some may wonder how long it takes to attend the health fair. We move pretty quickly because of the 12-hour fasting requirement, and we even provide breakfast for those receiving the tests. Generally, it takes about 45 minutes if the individual pre-registered for the event,” said DeFord. “This could change, depending on the total number of people who attend. But we have been doing this long enough that we have become pretty efficient, and that is why people come back year-after-year.”
To speed the registration process on the morning of the event, individuals are encouraged to pre-register prior to April 23, which is a week before the event. Go to www.fitzgibbon.org/fair.