For Immediate Release
February 8, 2016
SACRAMENTO, CA – BloodSource today announced that effective Wednesday, February 10, it is asking potential donors who have traveled to the Cape Verde Islands, Caribbean, Central or South America, Mexico, or Samoa to not donate blood for 28 days after leaving those areas where the mosquito-borne Zika virus is becoming more widespread. A growing number of U.S. cases have been identified among travelers returning from affected areas.
“Zika virus could be transmitted by blood transfusion and currently there is no test to screen blood donors,” said Chris Gresens, MD, BloodSource Senior Medical Director and Vice President, Global Medicine. “We are aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is discussing official guidance about donors who have traveled to these regions. Until that guidance is available, we are taking this cautionary step.”
Blood centers in states along the border with Mexico will be particularly affected, as will states in the north and Midwest where some residents routinely travel to Mexico and the Caribbean to escape winter weather.
“As we are in the middle of cold and flu season, it is very important that those who are able to donate blood should please schedule their donation appointment soon to help ensure our community has a safe and ample blood supply,” said Gresens.
To schedule a donation appointment, please visit bloodsource.org or call 866.822.5663.
View a list of countries affected by Zika virus
Since 1948, BloodSource® has saved countless lives through the generosity of its passionate volunteer donor base. Established as a not-for-profit community blood bank, BloodSource® provides blood and medical expertise to hospitals throughout Northern and Central California, and around the world. Donors can save lives in many ways at BloodSource®, through source plasma, platelets, transfusable plasma or whole blood donation. BloodSource continues to evolve as a leader in blood and transfusion medicine for quality and innovation. Together, we do save lives.
About Blood Donation
Donating blood is safe, easy and takes about an hour. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be at least 17 years old (16 with a signed BloodSource parent consent form) and in general good health. There is no upper age limit for blood donations. Donors must bring a photo ID and drink plenty of fluids before donating. Potential marrow donors can register for Be The Match® national marrow registry through BloodSource. Schedule an appointment or learn more at 866.822.5663 or bloodsource.org.