® is celebrating it’s one-year anniversary today, February 7, 2017. As we hit this milestone, we wanted to look back and remember the three articles that launched Contagion
® on this day in 2016.
Red Cross Says No Thanks to Donors Who Traveled to Zika-Infected Countries
The blood donor eligibility criteria just got a little more exclusive with the ongoing Zika virus outbreak.
“As part of our current health screening process, we only collect blood from donors who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation,” Susan Stramer, PhD, vice president of Scientific Affairs at the American Red Cross, said in a statement on February 3, 2016.
The criteria for eligible donors no longer includes those who traveled to Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central or South America within the past 28 days. The mosquito-borne illness has circulated to 24 countries and regions so far, and with officials anticipating it to make the rounds in the United States, the Red Cross is being especially careful with donations. In addition to the deferral for those who recently visited infected areas, the Red Cross asks that anyone who develops Zika symptoms within 14 days of donating notify them immediately. Such symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
Continue reading this article here.
Editor’s Note: An update from the Red Cross reads, “Currently, the Red Cross is conducting blood donor screening testing for Zika virus under an investigational study in five southeastern states in the U.S. (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina) that are believed to be at greatest risk of local mosquito transmission of Zika virus in which our collections occur. In September, we will expand this testing to five additional states (Arizona, California, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.) The Red Cross does not collect blood in Hawaii, Louisiana or New Mexico. We will continue to work closely with the FDA regarding our timeline for implementing testing in all U.S. states as required by the revised Zika virus guidance.”