FDA suggests testing blood donations for Zika

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(Zika virus stock photo)

While blood banks already test donations for HIV, hepatitis, and other blood-borne viruses, the Food and Drug Administration is asking them to begin screening for the Zika virus.

In a release, the FDA suggests that testing will help ensure that the blood available through banks is universally safe.

The release reads:

As a further safety measure against the emerging Zika virus outbreak, today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a revised guidance recommending universal testing of donated Whole Blood and blood components for Zika virus in the U.S. and its territories.

Zika is primarily transmitted by the Aedes mosquito but can also be spread by sexual contact. The virus can lead to symptoms such as fever, joint pain, the maculopapular rash and red, irritated eyes. It can also cause severe birth defects during pregnancy.

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