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Dayton Community Blood Center Joins Other States In Zika Precautions

The Community Blood Center in Dayton will initiate new restrictions on blood donations on Monday. They say the new guidelines are a response to concerns about transmission of the Zika virus.   

The center will start screening potential donors who may have traveled has traveled to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central or South America where the virus has been reported.

Mark Pompilio with the blood center says individuals who have traveled to those regions will have to wait 28 days after coming back to donate blood.

“There are indications that it can be transmitted through blood transfusion, although it’s not conclusive, so this is a cautionary step,” he said.

Blood donations typically fall this time of year because of winter weather and Pompilio says the restrictions, based on travel, won’t help them.

“There is fairly common travel to those warm weather climates during the winter so we do hope people will keep their appointments and try to donate if they’re eligible.”

Dayton CBC says they have not received any guidance yet from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and with two cases of the Zika Virus now confirmed in Ohio, the center joins blood banks in about 20 other states now taking precautions.

In Early February, the World Health Organization issued an international state of emergency as the Zika virus began to spread throughout South and Central America. The virus has been possibly linked to an uptick in a rare birth defect called microcephaly.