The San Diego Blood Bank announced that it will begin testing donations for the Zika virus Thursday.
The testing complies with directives from the US. Food and Drug Administration.
“This is positive news for the community, our donors and the Blood Bank,” said David Wellis, the organization’s CEO. “Safety is our utmost concern.”
The mosquito-borne Zika virus came to light earlier this year when some infected pregnant women gave birth to babies with microcephaly, which causes an infant’s head and brain to be smaller than normal. Around 20 percent of people who contract Zika actually get sick.
Dozens of San Diegans have contracted Zika while traveling abroad, but there have been no reports of local transmissions.
In an abundance of caution, county officials have sprayed for Aedes mosquitoes in instances when they’ve been discovered near the residences of people sickened by Zika.
The blood bank said it also tests donations for signs of, among other things, syphilis and viruses like HIV, hepatitis B and West Nile virus.
— City News Service
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