The FDA has just issued an urgent nationwide recommendation to keep Zika from spreading into the blood supply.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has put out a recommendation to screen the entire U.S. blood supply for the Zika virus, a bold new proactive step to prevent the spread of the disease and keep it from gaining a foothold in the United States as it has already wreaked havoc on South and Central America.
Screening is already being conducted on blood in Florida and Puerto Rico, and now the FDA is recommending it be done across the board, including large blood collection organizations like the American Red Cross down to local academic centers.
The Red Cross will start to phase in universal testing, and it currently does Zika tests in five states in the southeastern United States, where localized Zika virus outbreaks have been reported.
The FDA recommends that this testing should stay into effect until the risk of the virus being transmitted via blood transfusions is greatly reduced. Scientists still don’t know a lot about the disease, and authorities feel it is best to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to Zika.