FDA Orders Testing of Donated Blood for Zika

     (CN) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday updated its guidance for blood donation centers in all 50 states to begin testing all collections for the Zika virus, which has begun spreading across the South.
     The agency said clinics may also screen donors for the virus and use pathogen-reducing technology on collected blood.
     Would-be donors that test positive for Zika must be barred from giving blood for 120 days from the date of the positive test or resolution of Zika symptoms, whichever is longer. The agency also advised donation centers to notify donors when they test positive for Zika.
     Florida and Puerto Rico — already hit hard by local Zika transmissions — must begin the screening procedures immediately. States that have had some cases of Zika or links to areas where Zika thrives have four weeks to implement the tougher screening.
     All states must be in compliance within 12 weeks, the FDA said.

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