February 16, 2016 / 8:50 PM / 2 years ago

FDA issues guidelines to reduce risk of Zika blood transmission

A biologist displays Aedes mosquito cells inoculated with virus Zika in the laboratory of Biology from University of Campinas (UNICAMP), in Campinas, Brazil, February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday recommended individuals delay donating blood if they have had a confirmed Zika infection or have been potentially exposed to the virus.

While there have been no reports of Zika entering the U.S. blood supply, the risk of blood transmission is considered likely based on scientific evidence of how Zika and similar viruses spread, the agency said. (1.usa.gov/1mFUbGX)

The FDA issued these guidelines to ensure that blood banks defer blood donations, since about four out of five of those infected do not show symptoms.

Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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