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Swab used in measles frequency studies, London, England, 1996

Swabs are used to obtain a sample of saliva. Once obtained, the swab would be sent to the Communicable Diseases Surveillance Centre, part of the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS), to be tested for measles. Measles is easily spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes and from the saliva of infected individuals. As a communicable disease, the number of people who contract it must be reported. The PHLS was founded under the National Health Act of 1946 to provide laboratory services throughout the United Kingdom.

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Glossary: salivette

A trademarked device for saliva sampling.

Glossary: communicable disease

No description.

Glossary: measles

Disease caused by a virus most commonly found in children. Measles is spread through airborne fluids. In roughly the last 150 years, measles has been estimated to have killed 200 million people worldwide.