Sioux Falls, SD — Blood centers are taking some precautions to head off issues with the Zika virus outbreak.
The blood bank that serves Sanford Sheldon Hospital is the Community Blood Bank. Their spokesperson, Ken Ver Steeg, says they are following the F-D-A guidelines when it comes to dealing with blood donors who may have been exposed to the virus.
Ver Steeg says they’re trying to tell people ahead-of-time before they register to donate blood on the day of the donation.
He says we shouldn’t have to worry about the Zika virus being transmitted in our area by mosquitoes when the weather warms up, but there is a risk that it could be transmitted sexually or by bodily fluids.
Ver Steeg says that while they do a number of tests on blood that is donated, there is not yet a test for the Zika virus.
The Centers for Disease Control say that the Zika illness itself is usually mild in adults with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. But they say Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus. There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant.
Find more info at www.cdc.gov/zika/