Sen. Kaine, wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and his wife Anne Holton have tested positive for the antibodies to the new coronavirus.

Kaine said he had the flu earlier in the year, and thought the new symptoms he was experiencing was just remnants of the flu and high pollen count.

“The symptoms lingered and I continued to receive treatment from my physician for the flu through mid-March. At the end of March, I experienced new symptoms that I initially thought were flu remnants and a reaction to an unusually high spring pollen count. Then, Anne experienced a short bout of fever and chills, followed by congestion and eventually a cough,” Kaine said in a statement.

Kaine, who is Virginia’s former governor, said they talked with their doctors and “they thought it possible that we had mild cases of coronavirus.”

The two, who live in Richmond, were working remotely at the time and continued to self-isolate as their symptoms worsened. Holton is the interim president of George Mason University.

“By mid-April, we were symptom-free,” Kaine said.

“We each tested positive for coronavirus antibodies this month. While those antibodies could make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide.”

Antibody tests are different from the nasal swab tests currently used to diagnose active infections. Instead, the tests look for blood proteins called antibodies, which the body produces days or weeks after fighting an infection. An antibody test might show if you had COVID-19 in the recent past, which most experts think gives people some protection.

At least eight federal lawmakers have tested positive for active infections.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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