Community Blood Center is now testing blood donations for the Zika virus in compliance with recommendations issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to protect the blood supply.

In August the FDA recommended universal testing of all donated whole blood and blood components for the Zika virus in the U.S. and its territories. Ohio and Indiana are among the states that were scheduled to begin testing by Nov. 18, 2016 or sooner.  CBC began testing Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.

Beginning Nov. 14, 2016 CBC is no longer deferring donors for travel to Zika endemic areas.

The new Zika testing system is investigational and all donations submitted for testing are part of a research study.  By consenting to give blood donors are agreeing to participate in the research study.  The results from the study will help develop better testing systems to protect the blood supply.

CBC will notify the donor if results are positive. Donors with a test result that indicates a Zika infection should discuss the results with their primary care physician.  CBC will defer donor with positive test result for 120 days from the date of the test or the resolution of symptoms, whichever timeframe is longer.

CBC reminds donors that non-Zika related travel restrictions still apply. They can impact the available blood supply by limiting the number of people able to donate.  CBC encourages eligible donors to schedule appointments and donate when able.