FDA halts blood collection in 2 Fla. counties over Zika fears

Because mosquitoes in two Florida counties could be spreading Zika, the Food and Drug Administration has asked blood collection establishments in those counties to stop collecting blood immediately.

Organizations in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties should stop collecting blood and blood products until each individual unit of blood can be tested with an investigational donor screening test for Zika virus RNA or until they can start using pathogen inactivation technology.

The FDA also recommended blood collection organizations in counties near Miami-Dade and Broward implement those precautions as well.

The Thursday announcement from Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, came in response to an epidemiological study currently happening in Florida of four Zika cases. "These may be the first cases of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the continental United States," Dr. Marks said in a statement.

Dr. Marks called the move a "prudent measure to help assure the safety of blood and blood products."

The FDA has been prepared for this moment since February, when it released guidance to keep the U.S. blood supply safe from Zika virus.

More article on Zika:
4 ways IBM is helping the fight against Zika
Evidence of mosquito transmission of Zika in Florida mounts
CDC backs away from using controversial insecticide to fight Zika in Puerto Rico

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