OneBlood to start testing for Zika in August

Image courtesy OneBlood

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Local blood bank OneBlood will start testing donated blood for the Zika virus in just a few weeks. Testing will begin August 1.

OneBlood already had some measures in place to protect the blood supply from Zika. Those measures included enacting additional donor deferral guidelines, updating the donor history questionnaire to include Zika specific questions and issuing educational materials to donors.

When the new testing goes into effect, the hospitals that want Zika-screened products will request what they need on an on-demand basis, Reik said.

OneBlood representatives said they’ve been informed about the suspected non-travel case of Zika in Florida. If the diagnosis is confirmed, OneBlood says it will stop collecting blood in the affected zip code and will bring in the blood from other areas to supply the region.

OneBlood works in direct communication with the Florida Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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