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FDA now recommends that all donated blood be tested for Zika

Engadget Engadget 26/08/2016 Brittany Vincent
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In light of the Zika virus rapidly spreading to other parts of the world, the Food and Drug Administration has changed up its recommendations for donated blood. Going forward, all blood donated in the United States should be screened for the Zika virus.

Back in February, the FDA went ahead with guidelines for blood in Florida and Puerto Rico, both areas affected by the virus, to go ahead and begin screening donated blood there for infection. Obviously this ensures blood given by the possible infected isn't poisoning the supply redistributed out to patients in need of transfusions or other methods of blood delivery to the body.

According to FDA chief scientist Luciana Borio, "As new scientific and epidemiological information regarding Zika virus has become available, it's clear that additional precautionary measures are necessary." And it's good to err on the side of caution, obviously, as the Zika virus has spread from South America last year all the way to Miami this year, with a special travel advisory for those in Miami issued.

A week or so ago Zika-infected mosquitoes were found as far away as Louisville, Kentucky, and there have been additional cases popping up here and there as well.

These new recommendations in place will continue to be enforced until the "risk of transfusion transmission of Zika virus is reduced," the FDA advised. Hopefully that's in the near future and the virus doesn't get a chance to spread much further than it already has.

FDA

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