CONTAGION

FDA: All Blood Centers Must Screen for Zika

The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it would require all U.S. blood centers to screen for Zika. The new policy is meant to protect the nation’s blood supply from the mosquito-borne virus, which also can be transmitted via sex and bodily fluids, including blood. The extra measures were only previously in place in Puerto Rico and two counties in Florida. According to ABC News last month, blood centers in Fort Lauderdale and Miami were forced to temporarily reject new blood until they had enacted a system to screen the donations. The order came after reports of local Zika transmission in the Miami area—which has now been confirmed. The sites were already mandated to test for the West Nile virus, hepatitis, and HIV.

The FDA policy comes the same day as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first known case of a sexual Zika transmission without symptoms. According to reports, the case is the first documented instance of an asymptomatic person giving the virus to a sexual partner who had not traveled to an area of active Zika circulation. The man allegedly had no idea he was infected with the virus and transmitted it to his female partner via sexual intercourse.