KBC Begins Testing Donations for Zika Virus

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Monday, the Kentucky Blood Center began ZIKA virus testing on all blood and blood component donations.

This change is required by the August 26, 2016 FDA communication which mandated ZIKA testing on all volunteer blood donations.

Kentucky Blood Center (KBC), 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.

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