Keeping Our Blood Supply Safe Amid Zika Virus Outbreak
February 2016 – Appleton, WI – The Community Blood Center is implementing proactive mesasures to ensure the safety of the blood supply amid the Zika virus outbreak. The Zika Virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, and can be present in the blood of an infected person who has no visible symptoms. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week.
With the outbreak of Zika, and to reduce the transmission of this virus, all blood donors are being asked to wait 28 days to give blood after their return to the United States if they have traveled to Mexico, the Caribbean, and or Central or South America*.
Donating blood is a great way to connect lives and share life, and we ask that all presenting donors keep the safety of others in mind when thinking about giving blood. “At The Community Blood Center, we strive to supply the safest blood product we can. Although we do not want to turn blood donors away, the safety of our hopstials and patients is first and foremost.” said Kris Belanger, Vice President, Donor Services.
If you have not traveled to these areas, we ask that you would consider making an appointment to assist in recovering from the anticipated loss of up to 3% of our normal donor base.
Beyond its normal blood safety measures and pre-donation health screening, The Community Blood Center is implementing additional safety measures by asking donors who have traveled in these areas to self-defer, and notify the center if they develop any symptoms related to the Zika virus, including fever, rash, red eyes, and muscle/joint pain within 14 days of their donation.
“The Zika virus has the potential to affect millions of people world-wide. Our additional blood safety measures are necessary to ensure there is no transmission of the Zika virus through blood donations.” said Dr. Todd Straus, Chief Medical Officer & Vice President, Quality &Medical Services.
*AMERICAS: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Commonwealth of Puerto, Rico, US territory, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Martin, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands, Venezuela; OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: American Samoa, Samoa; AFRICA: Cape Verde.