Blood in Michigan to be tested for Zika virus - WNEM TV 5

Blood in Michigan to be tested for Zika virus

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Michigan Blood is taking steps to protect donors and recipients from the Zika virus.

In August, the Food and Drug Administration released guidelines requiring most blood centers nationwide to test for the virus by Friday, Nov. 18.

Michigan Blood said they plan to follow those requirements.

“The process is unlike anything we’ve ever done,” said Cindy Raven, director of laboratories and component preparation for Michigan Blood.

Due to the new guidelines, beginning Friday, Nov. 18 donors must weigh at least 112 pounds instead of the previous 110-pound requirement, because an extra tube of blood will be taken for testing.

The new testing also means those who have visited a Zika risk area will not be turned away from donating.

“It’s about the patients – providing the safest blood possible,” Raven said. “It’s why we do what we do.”

The organization’s partners in Indiana have been working to get their labs ready for the next phase of the process. Staff are also being trained in new labeling techniques. 

To find out where you can donate blood, click here

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

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