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Environment

Zika Affects Local Blood Donations

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John Tann from Flickr
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Due to cases of the Zika Virus, potential blood donors are now being asked if they've traveled recently to south Florida. The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center wants people who visited Miami-Dade and Broward counties to postpone giving blood for up to one month after their return. 

The center, which serves 88 hospitals in four states, had already announced what it calls a "Zika Virus travel deferral" for anyone who'd visited Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

Spokesman Kirby Winn says this is the first time a location in the US has been added to the deferral list.
And since many travelers probably don't know which counties they visited, the blood center shows donors a list of the cities in each of the two counties. He emphasizes the deferral does NOT affect other parts of Florida such as Orlando and Jacksonville.

Winn says before the outbreak in south Florida, their national organization estimated about 2 per cent of potential donors would have traveled to the previous Zika locations. 

kwinn2.mp3
We receive 500-800 donations per day so 2 % can add up.

The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, based in Davenport, provides blood and blood products to hospitals from southwest Wisconsin to southern Illinois and Saint Louis, and from Danville in eastern Illinois to Albia in eastern Iowa.