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Blood Donors at Risk for Zika Infection Asked to Hold Off

American Red Cross asks potential donors who have traveled to affected areas to wait 28 days

blood donation

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The American Red Cross on Wednesday asked potential blood donors who have traveled to areas where Zika infection is active to wait 28 days before giving blood.

"The American Red Cross is dedicated to providing the safest, most reliable blood products possible to patients in need," Susan Stramer, Ph.D., vice president of scientific affairs at the American Red Cross, said in a statement. "We are closely monitoring the spread of Zika virus."

People who give blood and subsequently develop symptoms of Zika virus within 14 days of their donation should notify the Red Cross so their blood can be quarantined.

"The Red Cross continues to use safety measures to protect the blood supply from Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses," Stramer said. "As part of our current health screening process, we only collect blood from donors who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation. We also provide a call back number if the donor develops any symptoms of disease within the next several days following donation. Donations from such donors are not used for transfusion."

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