Blood donation centers are now testing for the Zika virus to help minimize the country’s blood shortage.
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is one of only a handful of blood centers in the nation currently testing for Zika. Because the Food and Drug Administration approved the new test for a clinical trial, donors must sign a consent form during the donation process.
Elizabeth Waltman, Chief Operating Officer says, “We believe that the best way to keep the blood supply safe is by testing for Zika. So we are testing every single unit of blood that we possibly can for Zika.”
United Blood Services says they will no longer defer donors who have traveled to Zika affected areas. They will be allowed to donate blood as long as their blood tests negative.