By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — North Chicago-based Abbott Labs has received emergency use authorization from the FDA for its new COVID antibody test.

The antibody test differs from diagnostic tests, which are used to determine if a patient is currently infected with the virus. Antibody tests determine if someone had a previous infection.

The new antibody test from Abbott also differs from a previous antibody test they created, which plays a role in determining if someone has recovered from COVID. The new antibody test can better help doctors determine how far along a patient is in their recovery, and help determine if further treatment, isolation, or follow-up visits are needed.

Seven other Abbott tests have received emergency use authorization during the pandemic.

“Abbott has developed tests to detect the virus at each stage of infection so doctors and their patients are equipped with knowledge of how they are responding to the virus and progressing through recovery,” Abbott president and CEO Robert B. Ford said in a statement. “Antibody tests will continue to play an important role to better understand the virus, the prevalence of COVID-19 in an area and where a patient may be in their recovery.”