Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What blood work can be done to prove immunity to Rubeola, Rubella, and Varicella? "
I had these infections in childhood. Can the same test prove immunity to Mumps (had immunization in college)?
Blood work can be done to prove immunity to these viruses, though it is only routinely done in certain circumstances. Let me explain. The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) or Varicella shots are actually inactive viruses that look just like the real viruses that cause illness. They basically activate your immune system to make cells and antibodies that attack the vaccine and will attack the virus when you are exposed. Thus when you get exposed to one of the viruses, you body already has cells and antibodies which are trained to attack that virus. We can tell if you are immune to these viruses by testing for the antibodies that are supposed to be made when you get the shot. Since the shot works 99+% of the time, there is no need to test for these antibodies. The major exceptions to this is if there is a question if vaccination took place, or if the person works in a high risk environment. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can discuss the need (if any) for you to prove immunity to these viruses. If you are in a situation in which you are handling young children all the time, or if you are in health care, then your doctor will likely recommend that you get tested for these antibodies.
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