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Local Blood Bank Takes Precautions To Prevent Spread Of Zika Virus

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John Tann, (CC BY 2.0)
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  TheZika Virus outbreak could potentially affect the local blood supply. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports that even a local blood bank is implementing the FDA recommended waiting period for donations.

 

 

Potential blood donors who have traveled to areas where the mosquito-borne Zika virus is becoming more widespread like the Caribbean, Mexico or Central or South America are being asked to wait 28 days.  

 

Twenty-eight days would be sufficient time to see if anyone has symptoms for the Zika virus," says Steve Thomas with the United Blood Services of Northern Nevada. “When donors come in to donate, we ask them how they’re feeling and after 28 days, it should surface, and so that’s the reason we’re taking that precaution.”

 

Although mosquito bites are primarily the mode of infection for the Zika virus, Thomas says there’s been some reports of infections spread by blood transfusion or sexual contact.

“There’s no test to screen the blood donors. We’re working frantically on it as are a lot of other organizations,” Thomas says.

According to Thomas, it’s been estimated that the post-travel waiting requirement could cut the nation’s blood supply by two percent.   

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.