FDA Urges Zika Testing for All Blood Donations

What's Hot


Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

7 Foods That Can Lengthen Your LifeFamily

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

7 Government Freebies You Can Get TodayFamily

Federal health authorities are recommending that all blood donated in the U.S. be tested for the mosquito-borne disease. Find out what's behind the suggestion.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising blood banks to screen all blood donations in the U.S. for the Zika virus.

It’s an effort to protect the nation’s blood supply from the mosquito-borne disease, which can cause severe birth defects — including microcephaly and other fetal brain defects — in children whose mother contracted the virus while pregnant.

Previously, the FDA had limited its blood screening recommendation to areas with active Zika virus transmission.

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, says in a statement:

“There is still much uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Zika virus transmission. At this time, the recommendation for testing the entire blood supply will help ensure that safe blood is available for all individuals who might need transfusion.”

Zika is spreading at “epidemic rates” in Puerto Rico, and it’s caused at least two outbreaks in Florida, NBC reports.

According to the FDA statement:

Testing of donated blood is already underway in Florida and Puerto Rico, as well as in other areas, and it has shown to be beneficial in identifying donations infected with Zika virus.

NBC reports that blood donations are typically tested for:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • West Nile virus
  • A virus called HTLV
  • The bacteria that causes syphilis
  • The parasite that causes Chagas disease

Although the FDA’s recommendation is nothing more than nonbinding advice, blood banks often follow such suggestions.

NPR says there are 2,517 cases of Zika in the U.S. today and an additional 9,011 cases in U.S. territories.

The mosquito-borne virus also can be transmitted:

  • Through sex
  • From mother to child during pregnancy
  • Through a blood transfusion
  • Through lab exposure

If you’re looking for a way to protect yourself against the virus, try one of these “5 Best Repellents for Zika Virus Mosquitoes.”

How are you protecting yourself from the Zika virus? Share your comments below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 8 Ways to Get Your FICO Score for Free

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,879 more deals!