New Zika blood screening could impact local supply


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Starting on Monday, the Blood Center of Central Texas will start screening blood for the Zika virus.

The test is relatively new and adds an extra step for donors under the age of 18.

Joining us in the KXAN studio to talk about the new guidelines in the Blood Center is CEO Marshall Cothran.

“Our main concern is the safety of the blood supply,” said Cothran. “We think this is ultimately going to have a positive effect on the blood supply both for safety and sufficiency.”

The FDA issued the recommendation last month to test blood donations across the country. The changes require 17-year-old’s to have paperwork signed by their parents or legal guardians to donate blood.

The impact of the new requirement could impact our local blood supply because an estimated 12 percent of all donations come from high school students.

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