Donated Blood Can Now be Tested for Zika

Donated Blood Can Now be Tested for Zika

Hurricanes have caused superb conditions for the virus to spread, and authorities are taking measures to keep it under control.

The Zika virus is alive and well in the U.S. It’s not something that many are contending with daily but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicates that at this point, a case has been reported in just about every state in the country. Some, like Florida, have more cases than others.

The mosquito-borne illness isn’t too dangerous for most adults to contract but for pregnant mothers it does pose a great worry. Babies in the womb can contract inflammation of the brain resulting in severe brain damage. Children can also be affected, as their brain is developing and susceptible to the illness’s damage.

Related: A Zika Vaccine is Being Developed by This Company With Funding From the U.S Government

In light of this, it’s reassuring to know that blood being donated across the country is now being tested for the virus.

According to Medscape.com, the FDA has just approved a test that is said to be 99% accurate in detecting the presence of Zika. Should the virus be present in a person’s blood, the blood will not be accepted for donation.

Hurricane Harvey and Irma are expected to have increased the spreading of Zika in areas such as southeast Texas and Florida, as the hurricane conditions provided a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The good news is that authorities are hard at work spraying for mosquitoes in an effort to reduce the insects and contain any possible chance of infection.

Approximately 40,000 pints of donated blood are used in the U.S each day.

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