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Immune to Measles? Find Out Fast with a Titer Test

The recent measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest has public health authorities concerned. And for good reason, because the telltale measles rash often doesn’t appear until four days into the illness, people may be infected and unknowingly expose others to this highly contagious virus.

To keep staff and students safe, some school districts in Clark and King Counties are taking matters into their own hands. They’re requiring proof of immunization, which involves a titer test for measles if you are unable to provide documentation of measles vaccination.

Multnomah County Health Department has not yet made any such requirements, but a letter was released to many schools that cautioned about exposure and protocols for parents to take.

What Does a Measles Titer Test Detect?

A titer test is a blood test that checks for the presence of certain antibodies in the blood stream to determine whether you’re immune to a specific disease. Antibodies are made by your immune system to help fight and control an infection, such as measles. A measles titer test checks to see if you are immune to measles. This test does not tell if you have an active measles infection.

Facilities like Legacy-GoHealth Urgent Care offer laboratory testing and can take a blood sample to measure the levels of antibodies in your immune system.

Who Needs a Titer Test?

There are several reasons you might need a titer blood test. In the case of the measles outbreak in Washington and Oregon, schools are asking parents to show proof of their children’s immunity before they return to the classroom. You are considered immune from measles if you meet one of the following:

  • Pre-school age child with one measles vaccine (MMR)
  • School-age child (K-12) or adult with two measles vaccines (MMR)
  • Born before 1957
  • Previously diagnosed with measles by a doctor or blood test
  • Titer test that shows you are immune

KEY POINT: Most adults and children are vaccinated against measles, but if you are unable to provide documentation of vaccination, your school or work may require proof of immunity with a titer blood test.

How Much Does a Titer Test Cost?

Like with any medical testing, out-of-pocket expenses for a titer test can vary depending on your insurance plan.

Without insurance, a vaccine titer test at Legacy-GoHealth Urgent Care will only run you $58.

Proof of immunity not being required in your child’s school district? It still doesn’t hurt to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re protected from the circulating measles virus.  What matters most is your health and the health of others in the community.

Whether you have initial measles symptoms you’re concerned might indicate infection or need titer testing, the team at Legacy-GoHealth Urgent Care is here for you.

Please call before coming in so that we may take the proper precautions prior to your arrival at any of our centers.

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