AUSTIN (KXAN) — Did you know there’s a blood test that can detect if you are immune to the measles virus as an adult?
It’s called a titer test.
It can detect if an adult received the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine as a child, in the chance that you don’t know if you got the shot — or can’t find your vaccination records to prove it.
Dr. Coburn Allen, infectious disease specialist at Dell Children’s Medical Center, explained how the blood test works:
“Measles is a virus that you can check if people had it before by checking what’s called titers. Titers is really looking for the level of antibody in the body to the vaccine or to the infection in the past.”
If the test yields a positive result, Allen says that means you are protected against measles. He says the test is highly accurate.
“So when I started medical school,” he said. “I actually got tested and found out I was not vaccinated as a child and actually had to get two vaccines within a month apart.”
Allen says, however, that the Centers for Disease Control does not recommend getting the blood test first if you are unsure weather you were vaccinated as a child.
The CDC’s website suggests:
“If you’re unsure whether you’ve been vaccinated, you should first try to find your vaccination records. If you do not have written documentation of MMR vaccine, you should get vaccinated. The MMR vaccine is safe, and there is no harm in getting another dose if you may already be immune to measles, mumps, or rubella.”
Allen says if a doctor orders a titer test, it is usually covered by insurance.