Facing An Adult Illness With Childhood Protection: Are You Still Safe?

It’s part of the back-to-school routine.

School supplies… check.

Lunchbox… check.

Immunization record… check.

For the majority of families, vaccinations are just a part of childhood. The shots provide children with immunity from everything from measles to chickenpox. Particularly the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (also known as German measles). All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws that require some immunizations before a child can enter childcare and public schools. But, by the time you’ve reached the age for college and other postsecondary educational institutions, you may very well have lost your records providing evidence of immunity.

Evidence of Immunity

That’s where Any Lab Test Now® can help. If you’ve lost your evidence of immunity records that are required by many colleges and even some professions, there’s an easy way to prove your immunity. It’s called the MMR Titer. The MMR Titer is a simple blood test that checks if you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella by measuring your antibody levels. The results demonstrate whether or not your immune system has the capability to respond to an infection from one of the viruses.

Timing is Important

The timeline is important as it pertains to the MMR Titer. After having your blood drawn at your local Any Lab Test Now, it will generally take between 24 to 72 business hours to get your results. This is important because if your results show that you have low to no immunity, you’ll need to arrange to receive two doses of the MMR vaccines, separated by at least 28 days.

Who Might Need an MMR Titer Test

Most people know that school-aged children will need to provide proof of vaccination, but many may not realize that it’s not just kids that require a record. You will need to provide evidence of immunity or the results of an MMR Titer if:

  • You are a student at a post-high school educational institution.
  • You are a person who works in certain settings, such as hospitals or medical clinics, and are at risk for increased exposure.

The CDC also recommends that people who plan to travel internationally make certain that they are protected before traveling. Doctors also recommend that women of childbearing age make certain of their coverage before getting pregnant.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE MMR VACCINE! According to the CDC, a few people who get two doses of MMR vaccine may still get measles, mumps or rubella if they are exposed to the viruses. Experts aren’t sure why, but suspect that it could be that the immune system did not respond to the original vaccine as well as it should have.

Take Control of Your Health

Your local Any Lab Test Now makes it easy. There are friendly experts there to answer any of your questions and provide you with the results you need to take your next steps forward. Getting through childhood is hard work — let us make sure your childhood immunizations are still working as hard as you are.

Me and the Measles

My name is Terri McCulloch and I am the Vice President, Sales & Marketing for ANY LAB TEST NOW®.  Don’t let the title scare you – I’ve actually got a personal story that I thought might help some of you with questions about measles, vaccinations and your own immunity.

As you’ve seen in the news, 2015’s outbreak of the year so far has been the measles, a disease that was declared eradicated from the U.S.in 2000.  It is one of the easiest to contract – living on surfaces and in the air up to 2 hours after an infected person leaves that area.

So, after hearing the news, I called my mother.  I now have to admit I was born in 1963 and almost 52 years old; my mother is 76.  I had a number of reasons for questioning my immunity:

  1. I have a grandson with Down Syndrome.  Children with Down’s have lower immunity, even though he has been vaccinated.

  2. I have another grandson that is 9 months old who has not been vaccinated – he actually is not old enough for his first MMR vaccine yet.  My daughter is what I lovingly call a “millennial hippie” – she is a vegetarian, eats organic, has rain barrels and a garden in her backyard, and cares about people and the earth.  She has concerns about vaccines so after consulting with her naturopathic pediatrician, they decided my grandson would not receive his immunizations until after age 2.

  3. I’ve read  that vaccines given between 1957 and 1971 were not as effective as vaccines available now.

  4. I travel – a lot.  Usually 2 to 3 weeks a month.  When I am not traveling, I am meeting people.  So, as you see, I can be a likely carrier of anything and everything  unknowingly from people around me – even people who left less than 2 hours ago with the measles and may not yet know they are infected….

The last thing I wanted to do was get my grandsons sick.  So, let’s get back to my mom.  The conversation went like this:

Me: “Mom, did I ever have the measles growing up?”

Mom: “I think so, but I don’t remember.”

Me: “Did you get me vaccinated?”

Mom: “I don’tknow butI think so.  You’re in your 50s – I don’t have your shot records!”

Big question mark….

I had to make a decision – get a measles or MMR vaccine booster, or check to see if I am immune.  I made the personal decision to check my immunity and if I’m a walking hazard, I’ll then get vaccinated.  I got my MMR titer, a blood test that tests for immunities to the measles, mumps and rubella, yesterday.  I should have my results in just a few days.  As a grandmother, I already feel a lot better, knowing I will know for sure before something happens.

Know Your Measles Facts: Are You Immune?

(January 2015)- Unfortunately, the current outbreak of measles that began at Disneyland in California has now spread to the Phoenix, Arizona area. Will Humble, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, has stated that the outbreak has reached a “critical point” and that he suspects the number of cases will continue to increase throughout the United States as more unknown, asymptomatic infected people travel. As the virus becomes a reality in our neighborhoods, it’s important to be educated regarding the facts.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that, according to The Center for Disease Control, has the ability to affect 90% of the unimmune people in close proximity to an infected person. Infected people can spread the virus to others from four days before to four days after the rash symptom appears.

The virus typically begins to show with a fever, red and watery eyes, a cough, and a runny nose. Three to five days after the person becomes symptomatic, a red, raised, and blotchy rash that usually begins at the hairline and spreads downwards to the lower extremities appears. Keep in mind that the symptoms of measles generally show about seven to 14 days after a person has been infected.

As for immunity against this virus, a vaccine is administered via the MMR vaccine, which is a combination vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. In the United States, two doses are recommended for children, with the first dose recommended at 12-15 months of age.

If you are unsure if you have had the MMR vaccine or the measles, or are planning to travel internationally where there is an even higher incidence of measles, please contact your local Any Lab Test Now® for a simple recommended blood test. Any Lab Test Now® offers the “measles titer” to see if you are immune to measles. It is a quick blood test that measures your antibody levelsto this disease to get a sense for whether your immune system has the capability to respond to the infection. Don’t wait to gain peace of mind — get tested at your local Any Lab Test Now® today!

Important Immunization Facts for College Students

This year, America’s colleges and universities are welcoming back record numbers of students. If you’re one of the more than 21 million undergraduates¹ attending school this fall, you know that proof of immunization is an important requirement. Now is the perfect time to learn more about which vaccinations you’ll need.  Before you can step foot in the classroom, make sure you’re up-to-date on these shots.

REQUIRED (varies by state and institution, so check with your college)

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)
  • Meningitis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella (chicken pox)

RECOMMENDED

  • Influenza (flu)
  • Td (tetanus, diphtheria)
  • HPV (human papillomaviruses)

Minors will need to get parental consent before getting caught up on any immunizations they might be missing. If you aren’t sure which vaccinations you’ve already had, speak with your doctor to obtain a medical history. Or, you can obtain proof of immunization through a lab test, such as MMR titers or Varicella titer testing.  Some diseases – chicken pox, for example – will not require additional immunization if you have already been sick.

¹ U.S. Department of Education Institute, National Center for Education Statistics