Table of Contents
Food and Drug Administration Halts Blood Donation in South Florida Temporarily
The United States Food and Drug Administration has asked the blood banks in two Florida counties to stop collections immediately. This is because the countries are examining the possibilities of local transmissions of the Zika virus.
This action came from the FDA post confirmations coming from officials in examining cases of Zika virus. This virus is spread by the local mosquitoes. There is a total of four cases that are on a continued investigation by the officials.
Health officials have not come up with confirmations regarding the condition of the infected individuals. They have not confirmed whether the affected individuals obtained Zika virus from the local mosquitoes. However, the transmission appears to increase likely.
FDA said that these cases might be the first instances of Zika virus transmission in Florida. This came up in the notice and even in a media statement by the FDA on Thursday. The FDA said that it was continuously into making this request to the blood collection agencies. It has done this considering the fact that there is the probability of an emerging outbreak of the Zika virus.
It has taken this step as a careful measure for helping ensure the safety of blood and blood products. The FDA also suggests that the counties nearby also put these safety measures in place. The counties nearby should adopt the safety measures as soon as possible.
This will help them in maintaining the safety of the blood supply in their area. For the blood collection agencies outside these counties, FDA recommends that donors defer on blood donation. These will be the donors traveling to both the countries in less than four weeks.
Recommendations Coming from the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration alerted several authorities and entities who are into blood donations and collection. One authority alerted by the FDA was Florida’s surgeon general along with other important blood collection organizations.
The FDA did this on Wednesday night. The FDA also took further steps and reached out to the blood collection agencies in Florida on Thursday morning. It took the largest blood collection agencies of the state into consideration. This has been stated by the FDA spokeswoman, Tara Goodwin.
The FDA also stated that it is closely working with the companies responsible for blood screening tests. It is doing this for ensuring that the companies are completely prepared for expanding testing as required. Blood collection agencies in the other parts of US might also make the choice now or in near future. They can make the choice of participating in the blood screening test. They can do this even if there is no likeliness of the transmission of Zika virus in their area.
One of the most important organizations that deal with the collection of blood throughout Florida is OneBlood. Last week, this organization said that it had got alerts from the public health authorities regarding the Zika virus. The alerts were regarding the non-travel Zika virus case under examination in the counties in South Florida.
The organization further said that if this case got confirmation, it will completely halt blood collections. The collections will be stopped in the affected area, the organization made it clear. It further added that blood would be brought from the unaffected regions for supplying the needs of a particular region.
OneBlood also stated that it had got the approval for using the investigational tool. It has planned to begin testing each blood donation for the Zika virus. The investigations are likely to start from Monday. However, the organization did not come up with any comments on the request put forward by the FDA.
The website of the organization says that the company is planning to examine a part of the blood collected for Zika virus. It would allow different hospitals to have easy access to the Zika-screened blood items from the unaffected regions.
Hospitals would then be able to use these Zika screened blood items for treating their patients. This would actually entail the patients who are at high risk of contracting Zika complications. These include pregnant women on a very wide scale. The hospitals that require Zika-screened blood products must place a request as per their demand.
Proactive Steps Taken by OneBlood
OneBlood has also been known to take proactive steps previously for protecting the supply of local blood from Zika virus effect. One important proactive step taken by OneBlood includes enacting numerous donor-deferral guidelines. Apart from this, the steps also entail updating donor history questionnaire for including Zika specific questions. It also involves issuing different educational materials to the donors.
Protection for Pregnant Women
Zika virus is associated with miscarriages in pregnant women. This virus can spread with almost any sex type. Because the Zika threat looms, pregnant women need to know the ways that will help them protect themselves.
Officials in this field have implemented plans of visiting homeowners with Zika patients. The officials and specialists will do this in coordination with the local health inspectors. The local mosquito control officials will also be targeting the same neighborhoods. They will do so for eliminating mosquitoes on the whole along with breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Specialists are of the view that pregnant women can protect themselves by being more conscious. They must remain aware of each and every precaution that can help them in staying away from this dangerous virus. They need to be educated and they even need to educate others who are not aware.