MeaslesMeasles, a highly contagious infection caused by virus can lead to potentially serious complications, including pneumonia, brain damage and deafness. Though this disease was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, it has been rising again in recent years, fueled by huge epidemics in other countries. According to the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States is currently experiencing a large, multi-state eruption of measles linked to the outbreak of measles that began in December 2014 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. From December 28, 2014 to February 20, 2015, 133 people from 7 states in the U.S. were reported to have measles. On January 23, 2015, CDC issued a Health Advisory to notify public health departments and healthcare facilities about this multi-state outbreak and to provide guidance for healthcare providers nationwide.

A new CNN/ORC Poll conducted in the middle of a national measles outbreak in 2015 found that 78 percent of respondents believe vaccinations should be mandatory for healthy children.

Doctors usually diagnose this acute viral illness based on the disease’s characteristic rash as well as a small, bluish-white spot on a bright red background on the inside lining of the cheek. A blood test can confirm whether the rash is truly measles. Antibody testing may also be used to confirm immunity, diagnose an active case of measles and to track outbreaks. Detection of specific IgM antibodies in a serum sample collected within the first few days of rash onset can provide presumptive evidence of a current or recent measles virus infection. Reliable lab equipment suppliers provide DRG Measles Virus IgG Enzyme Immunoassay Kit that provides materials for the qualitative and semi-quantitative determination of IgG-class antibodies to measles virus in human serum. Similarly Awareness Technology ReQuest Measles lgG also provides cost-effective diagnostic testing for the detection of human IgG antibodies to the measles IgG in human serum or plasma.

Clinical laboratories while performing diagnostic tests for measles should make sure to use blood collection tubes without additives – either a plain, red-top tube or a serum separator tube. The preferred volume for IgM and IgG testing at CDC is 0.5–1 ml of serum to allow for re–testing; however, testing can be done with as little as 0.1 ml (100 ul) if necessary.