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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky Blood Center will begin Zika virus testing on all blood and blood component donations today.
This change is required by the Aug. 26 FDA communication which mandated ZIKA testing on all volunteer blood donations.
Kentucky Blood Center, which is starting testing prior to the authorized deadline as required, will implement the most sensitive, individual-sample testing available to ensure the safety of Kentucky patients. This testing is in addition to the more than 12 tests like HIV, hepatitis B and C and West Nile already conducted on each donation.
“Safeguarding the blood supply is always our most important concern,” said KBC President and CEO Bill Reed. “This new testing will provide an additional safeguard for Kentucky patients and will also allow the blood donation screening process to be a little more streamlined as our staff will no longer ask about ZIKA-related travel.”
The ZIKA virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes but can also be transmitted via sexual contact as well as blood transfusions. The virus can cause devastating birth defects and has also been linked to Guillain-Barre’ syndrome in adults.
For more information about KBC, visit kybloodcenter.org or call 800.775.2522.
Founded nearly 50 years ago, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, non-profit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky hospitals.