Update on Blood Safety and Zika

NHF (Orlando, July 21-23): Mark Skinner, Nathan Schaefer and Mary Gustafson provided an update around blood safety in response to current dialogue in the community around Zika

NHF (Orlando, July 21-23): Mark Skinner, Nathan Schaefer and Mary Gustafson provided an update at the annual National Hemophilia Foundation meeting around blood safety in response to current dialogue in the community around Zika, a new virus in the national news that was also discussed at the Hemophilia Federation of America meeting earlier in the year. Donor selection and donation testing are still important aspects of assessing and addressing the risk of blood safety. Skinner discussed questions to ask regarding requirements for transfusion transmission of disease. He also cautioned, when in doubt we need to take precautionary measures to protect our blood supply. Zika virus has been identified as a flavivirus, a virus with an envelope; therefore, it can be eliminated through solvent detergent. The speakers acknowledged that the concern of the community is always what if a new virus is identified tomorrow that cannot be eliminated through the current manufacturing processes? This potential threat still exists for plasma derived products. Technology has enabled us to identify various new viruses and pathogens, but we do not know how these new pathogens will affect us.