Medical NewsOn March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that it is classing COVID-19 as a pandemic, and repeated its call for countries to take urgent and aggressive action to control the spread of the virus.

Also on March 11, 2020, PPTA updated its statement on coronavirus and the safety of plasma protein therapies, noting the WHO announcement and linking to some new resources. PPTA reiterates its assessment that the coronavirus outbreak 鈥渋s not a concern for the safety of plasma protein therapies manufactured by PPTA member companies.鈥

In related news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated the information it provides to blood establishments (entities that collect, test, or process blood or blood components) regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak. The FDA repeated its earlier statement that

“The potential for transmission of SARS-CoV-2聽by blood and blood components is unknown at this time.聽However, respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus.

Routine blood donor screening measures that are already in place should prevent individuals with clinical respiratory infections from donating blood. For example, blood donors must be in good health and have a normal temperature on the day of donation (21 CFR 630.10).”

The FDA also underscored that,

“As communities are affected, it is imperative that healthy individuals continue to donate blood.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guiding principles for avoiding the spread of coronavirus in communities. CDC emphasizes that

The goals for using mitigation strategies in communities with local COVID-19 transmission are to slow the transmission of disease and in particular to protect:

  • Individuals at increased risk for severe illness, including older adults and persons of any age with underlying health conditions [including individuals with blood disorders]

  • The healthcare and critical infrastructure workforces”

CDC recommends that all groups continue to monitor local information; continue to practice personal protective measures (rigorous handwashing, cough etiquette, staying home when sick, etc.); and implement social distancing measures (limit movement in the community, avoid large gatherings, avoid handshaking, etc.).

President Trump in an address to the nation said that, effective March 14th, the United States would suspend travel聽from most parts of Europe for 30 days in response to the spread of the coronavirus. The Administration had previously placed partial or full limits on travel from Italy, South Korea, China, and Iran. Some Americans currently in Europe would be permitted to return, notwithstanding the travel suspension.

As the nation continues to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19, HFA made the difficult decision to postpone Symposium. We hope to announce a new date by the end of next week.聽You can read more about HFA鈥檚 decision and planning for Symposium here.

HFA will continue to publish updates and information about coronavirus here.



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