Blood Donations Tested for the Zika Virus in South Texas

This essay was featured in the BloodStream Pod.

   Individuals donating blood through the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) are being asked to sign a voluntary consent form for testing of the Zika virus.  While this testing involves no change to the donation process itself, the STBTC views it as a precautionary measure to ensure the utmost safety of the blood supply and hopes for full participation by donors.  Given the continuing emergence of information on the Zika virus and the fact that those affected do not always display symptoms, this testing enables detection of infection that might otherwise go unnoticed.  "Our preference, as health care providers, is to have all donations tested for Zika,” Dr. Rachel Beddard, Medical Director of BioBridge Global, states.  The STBTC is one of, "a handful" of blood centers currently offering Zika virus testing.  Visit the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center for full information