Florida Agency Screening Donated Blood for Zika

OneBlood, which collects blood donations across most of Florida, announced that, effective July 29, it will begin testing 100 percent of its collections for the Zika virus using an investigational donor screening test.

OneBlood, which collects blood donations across most of Florida, announced that, effective July 29, it will begin testing 100 percent of its collections for the Zika virus using an investigational donor screening test. The agency took this step after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced July 28 that, because the Office of the Florida Department of Health State Surgeon General is conducting an epidemiological investigation into some non-travel-related cases of Zika virus in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, it is requesting that "all blood establishments in Miami-Dade County and Broward County cease collecting blood immediately until the blood establishments implement testing of each individual unit of blood collected in the two counties with an available investigational donor screening test for Zika virus RNA or until the blood establishments implement the use of an approved or investigational pathogen inactivation technology."

According to FDA, the Florida cases being investigated may be the first cases of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the continental United States.

FDA also recommended that adjacent and nearby counties implement the same precautions as soon as possible.

OneBlood's statement said the agency "received an unanticipated announcement from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 28th after its operations for the day were already underway, requesting collections to cease in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The guidance was issued in light of the Florida Department of Health investigating four possible non-travel related cases of the Zika virus. OneBlood is working as quickly as possible to comply with the FDA's request."

OneBlood, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Health, earlier this week suspended collections in a number of areas in South Florida where the suspected non-travel-related Zika cases are being investigated. "The situation remains fluid and additional information will be released as it becomes available," the company stated.

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