Update #2: Zika Virus & Blood Supply

Medical News
For the past few months, HFA has been monitoring the progression of the Zika virus in the United States. Since the first reported cases of Zika virus reaching the United States in January, there have been thousands of additional cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the follow cases and causes of transmission have been reported as of August 3, 2016:

  • Locally acquired mosquito-borne cases reported: 6
  • Travel-associated cases reported: 1,818
  • Laboratory acquired cases reported:  1
  • Total: 1,825

    • Sexually transmitted: 16
    • Guillain-Barré syndrome: 5

On July 28, 2016, in an effort to guard against Zika virus transmission through blood transfusions, the U.S. Food Drug Administration (FDA) told blood banks in Florida’s Miami-Dade and Broward counties to stop collecting blood until they can screen each donation. The FDA has also allowed blood banks to start using one of two new lab tests for the Zika virus even before those tests have been officially approved. According to a Wall Street Journal report, an FDA spokeswoman said there has been no report of Zika virus in the U.S. blood supply.
However, the CDC has noted that there is a strong possibility that the virus could be spread through blood transfusions. As concerns and difficulties arise, the CDC is preparing for the summer-long fight against the spread of the virus by moving over 1,000 employees to work specifically against Zika.
The Plasma Protein Therapeutic Association (PPTA), on behalf of many of the companies that produce products for the bleeding disorders community, has issued a statement acknowledging the FDA statement and referring back to FDA’s prior guidance statement for industry.
HFA will continue to work with the CDC, FDA, and PPTA to monitor the development of Zika virus transmission and its potential impact on the bleeding disorders community.
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