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August 8, 2016: FDA Temporarily Halts Blood Donation in Two Florida Counties Over Zika Fears

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking blood centers in two Florida counties to immediately stop collections. The counties are investigating possible local transmission of Zika virus.

“In a notice sent to blood centers and posted on the agency’s website Wednesday evening, the FDA said it is requesting all blood centers in Miami-Dade or Broward counties to “cease collecting blood immediately” until those facilities can test individual units of blood donated in those two counties with a special investigational donor screening test for Zika virus or until the establishments implement the use of an approved or investigational pathogen-inactivation technology.

“The action by the FDA comes as health officials in Florida said Thursday they were continuing to investigate two Zika cases that could have been spread by local mosquitoes, in addition to two similar cases they announced last week. Health officials have not confirmed whether any of the infected individuals acquired the virus from local mosquitoes, but it seems increasingly likely.

“’These may be the first cases of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the continental United States,’ the FDA said in its notice and in a media statement Thursday. It said it was making the request of blood-collection establishments ‘in consideration of the possibility of an emerging local outbreak of Zika virus, and as a prudent measure to help assure the safety of blood and blood products.’”

Source: The Washington Post

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