What is the Rubella Test?

Rubella test is a medical diagnostic blood test used to detect the presence of antibodies against the Rubella virus in the blood. Rubella, also known as the German measles, is a contagious viral infection affecting humans. The viral infection causes red rashes all over the skin. Though the side effects are similar to measles, rubella is caused by a different virus and is less invasive than measles. The rubella virus can cause drastic long-term effects on the unborn child, if the woman is infected during the pregnancy. The doctors recommend the MMR vaccine, which is highly effective against measles, mumps, and rubella. In some countries, the virus is very rare or non-existent. 

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is rubella disease?

Rubella is a mild, flu-like infection. It causes fever and body rashes like that of measles. It is spread through direct contact from an infected person to a healthy individual via saliva, mucus, or respiratory droplets (coughing or sneezing). With timely vaccination, prevention is possible. Medications will help ease the symptoms within days to weeks.

What is the Rubella Test used for?

The rubella test is widely used to examine the presence of rubella virus infection in a patient, especially pregnant women, who are at risk of catching the infection. The test measures the antibody levels against the viral infection. The presence of antibodies infers recent infection or vaccination. Antibodies are present in the blood for a long time.

Understanding the test results of Rubella Test

Rubella test is used to detect the presence of antibodies against Rubella infection in your blood. The test report mentions the numerical value of the antibodies. The antibody level of 10 IU/mL or greater indicates a positive test and infers that you have had a previous infection or vaccination. Kindly consult your doctor with the blood report for accurate information.

Why do I need a Rubella Test?

Rubella test is crucial for pregnant women to confirm the infection or get vaccinated on time. The viral infection can cause congenital disabilities in the unborn baby like heart problems, intellectual disability, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Therefore, it is safe to take a rubella test during the pregnancy to avoid complications. 

What happens during the Rubella Test?

An expert lab technician or a doctor will insert a sterile needle in the vein of your arm to draw the blood sample for the rubella test. The blood will be analyzed for the presence of rubella antibodies (if any). You will be asked to provide the vaccination, past infections, or pregnancy information during the test. 

What does it mean when you test positive for rubella?

A positive test result for rubella indicates that you have antibodies present in your blood. The antibody level determines whether you have a recent or past infection and are vaccinated. False-positive results are possible due to other viral infections and may require you to retake the test. A positive test in newborn babies may indicate infection at birth or passed on from their mother.

Is rubella serious?

Though rubella causes flu-like symptoms, it can have severe effects on pregnant women and unborn children. Without timely treatment, it can cause ear infections, internal inflammation of organs, and arthritis. In children, it can cause major organ deformities and congenital rubella syndrome. The infection poses a threat of miscarriages and premature birth in pregnant women.

What is a normal rubella range?

A positive rubella test with an antibody level higher than 10 IU/mL indicates immunization to rubella virus. The reference range of 7 IU/mL or less infers a negative test with no antibodies in the blood. An 8-9 IU/mL reference range may be due to the vaccination and requires a retest.

What does a rubella titer of 1/10 mean?

Any patient with a titer value of 1:10 is considered to be partially immunized. Such patients must be vaccinated against the rubella virus to prevent future infections of the virus. The patient can be questioned about any prior infections or other underlying infections (if any).

What level is rubella immune?

If the rubella test detects an antibody level of above 10 IU/mL, it indicates good immunity against the virus. The National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards has firmly agreed that the rubella virus immunity threshold value must be lowered from 15 IU/mL to 10 IU/mL.

What causes rubella to be positive in pregnancy?

There are high chances of the baby getting affected by congenital rubella if the woman is detected positive for the disease during her initial trimester. It is vital to get vaccinated against rubella before you plan your pregnancy. Rubella antibodies during pregnancy can also produce a positive test. The antibodies help protect your child against infection.


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