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UPDATE 1-FDA panel recommends Zika testing of donated blood be relaxed

UPDATE 1-FDA panel recommends Zika testing of donated blood be relaxed
From Reuters - December 1, 2017

(Reuters) - Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended that the requirements for screening blood donations for the Zika virus be relaxed due to diminished risk of transfusion-transmitted infection.

The advisory panel voted that instead of requiring Zika virus testing on each individual blood donation, tests could be conducted on mini-pools in which blood samples are pooled before testing.

In 2016 the FDA advised U.S. blood centers to screen all blood donations for Zika. The recommendation came amid a Zika outbreak that spread through more than 30 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and parts of the United States.

The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to a rare birth defect known as microcephaly, and last years outbreak prompted health officials to declare a global health emergency.

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