Zika Screening Test With $137M Price Tag Only Detected 8 Units Of Infected Donated Blood
The current policy requires the Red Cross and other blood suppliers to test each donation they receive individually, which accounts for the high cost, and the blood system operators would like to be able to dial back that screening.
Testing For Zika In Blood Donors Finds Few Infections — At $5.3 Million Each
An expensive screening program designed to keep the Zika virus out of the Red Cross’s blood supply has caught fewer than a dozen infected donations, a new study published Wednesday revealed. The program, which costs roughly $137 million a year to operate, detected only eight units that tested positive for the virus between June 2016 and September 2017. And half of those units contained Zika antibodies as well as virus, which suggests they probably would not have been able to infect a recipient, if anyone had been transfused with them, the study suggested. (Branswell, 5/9)
The Associated Press:
Study Finds Little Bang For The Buck In Zika Blood Testing
The study was the first large look at the impact of guidelines set two years ago, when the Zika epidemic was an unfolding menace in the U.S. and health officials were scrambling to prevent new infections. The study, published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the blood donation testing requirements offered little bang for the buck. It also raised questions about whether a cheaper testing method should be used. (Stobbe, 5/9)