New York Blood Center will screen all blood for Zika virus
31 August, 2016, 01:04 | Author: Andrea Terry
The Food and Drug Administration is recommending universal testing of donated whole blood and blood components for Zika virus in the United States, and so far OR has had few cases.
The risk of blood transmission is considered likely based on the most current scientific evidence of how Zika and similar viruses are spread, FDA officials have said.
The FDA recommended blood collections cease in Florida and the three USA territories with active Zika transmission until blood establishments begin screening donations or using pathogen reduction technology.
The virus was detected in Brazil and other countries past year and is associated with microcephaly, a birth defect that causes infants to have an unusually small head and possible developmental issues.
With no FDA-licensed tests available for Zika, two investigational tests are being used to screen blood collected in the United States and Puerto Rico.
"The Lee County Health Department is doing mosquito surveillance testing in Lee County, working with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa State University", said Community Health Program Director Michele Ross.
Per recent reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 471 new confirmed cases were reported from Florida, 601 from NY, 152 from California, 125 from Texas and 91 from New Jersey.
The Zika virus has now been found in 17 Alabama counties, including Marshall County, and a second travel-related case has been confirmed in Mobile County. So far, it has been used in the United States' blood centres.
Zika is spread primarily by mosquito bites, as well as sex. The virus can be detected in either the blood or urine. The symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.
About 2,200 Zika cases have been reported in the continental US and more than 13,000 in Puerto Rico, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Aside from mosquito transmission, sexual transmission of Zika has also been reported in over ten countries. There have been cases of Zika transmission through blood transfusion in Brazil.
The medicine, Nicolsamide, was previously shown to be safe for pregnant women, which may boost its rapid deployment to treat Zika infection, they reported in the journal Nature Medicine. Blood banks and donation centers adhere to those guidelines.
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