The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended Friday that all blood donation centers across the country begin testing donations for Zika virus to protect the U.S. blood supply.
Dayton’s Community Blood Center said it will begin Zika testing to comply with the new recommendations by the FDA.
All whole blood and blood components donations in the U.S. and its territories are being recommended for testing.
The Community Blood Center applied in June for use of the investigational new drug (IND) authorized by the FDA as a blood screening test for Zika. At the time states with active Zika transmission held the highest priority for receiving the test and beginning screening.
Immediate testing is being recommended in states with one or more reported locally acquired mosquito-borne cases of Zika. Eleven southern and western states must begin testing as soon as feasible, but no later than four weeks (Sept. 23). All other states, including Ohio and Indiana, must begin testing as soon as feasible, but no later than 12 weeks (Nov. 18).
Community Blood Center in Dayton will continue the screening methods in place to defer potential donors who have traveled to Zika endemic areas in the prior four weeks. The list of active Zika transmission areas was recently expanded to include two Florida counties.
CBC is deferring potential donors for 28 days who have traveled to Florida’s Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County, as well as the Caribbean, Mexico and Central or South America.
CBC asks all donors to be aware that travel restrictions impact the available blood supply by further limiting the number of people able to donate. CBC encourages eligible donors to schedule appointments and donate when able.
“There is still much uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Zika virus transmission,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “At this time, the recommendation for testing the entire blood supply will help ensure that safe blood is available for all individuals who might need transfusion.”
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