ADPH Doctor Explains Conflicting Measles Test Results
Just days after state officials alerted Alabama residents of a suspected case of the measles, the Alabama Department of Public Health says the test came back negative after the CDC performed its own testing.
So why was it announced that a St. Clair County infant did in fact have a confirmed case of the measles?
We spoke with Dr. Karen Landers of the ADPH.
“When a child presents to his or her physician with a vile rash, its always prudent of the physician to review the history and the physical findings,” Landers says.
She says the first test was performed at a commercial lab.
Commercial labs can be found at a hospital or physicians clinic.
After the results, the ADPH got the sample and immediately sent it to the CDC for confirmatory testing.
“A presumptive case basically means that the initial information that you have as far as your history including examination combined with some preliminary laboratory data indicates that this appears to be a case of this disease,” Landers says. “Not saying that the commercial lab was incorrect, but in blood tests, you can have borderline testing. So you have to sometimes do confirmatory testing.”
Landers says alerting the public after the initial test was the best thing to do, since measles spreads rapidly.
“It was determined that the public needed to be aware of this presumed case so that the public could take advantage of rechecking their own vaccine history,” Landers says.
There is a 90%t chance of contracting the disease if you’re in close contact with some who has it.
That reasoning is why the public was warned to get the measles vaccine.
There are currently 82 measles case open, according to the ADPH website.