UAB doctor explains how tests showed positive and negative results of measles

Doc explains differing measles test results

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An update on the nationwide measles outbreak: The CDC confirms 839 cases across the country this year.

None are in Alabama, after an initial positive test on a 5-month-old turned out to be not be the measles. So how did that happen?

We spoke with a doctor who said all tests can have false positives and false negatives.

Dr. David Kimberlin
Dr. David Kimberlin

Dr. David Kimberlin with UAB and Children’s of Alabama said this only helped us further prepare for if and when a real case gets here.

“People realize from their own experience with their own doctors, that, when they have blood work done, sometimes the doctor calls them back and says, ‘Well, this number was a little bit out of wack. Let’s retest it.’ You retest it. Everything’s fine,” said Dr. Kimberlin. “Same sort of thing happened in this situation. It’s not more complicated than that.”

As for that 5-month-old, health officials have not said what medical condition the child has.

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