When the first confirmed case of travel-related Zika appeared in Miami, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged OneBlood, a not-for-profit blood bank, to stop all blood collections due to fear of contamination. The result: a decreased supply of blood.
As of August 16, there are 86 reported cases of the Zika virus in Broward County, according to the Miami Herald, and those numbers are expected to rise. While this should raise concern for expectant mothers, those wanting to donate blood no longer need to fear. The FDA recently advised OneBlood to resume business as usual while testing all donations for the Zika virus.
Each day OneBlood is responsible for providing a safe and stable blood supply for the local and national community. Testing for Zika will be conducted in Southern states such as Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. If a sample tests positive, OneBlood will quarantine the unit, notify the donor and alert the Florida Department of Health, the FDA and the CDC.
Blood collections will continue as usual. The Big Red Bus will make stops at Heritage throughout the year, with the first blood collection taking place Thursday, Sept. 1. Students are encouraged to donate, and, as always, any adverse screening results will remain completely confidential.
To read more about how OneBlood is screening for the Zika virus visit: www.oneblood.org