UBS takes steps to prevent spread of Zika virus

Next Woony blood drive is April 21

United Blood Services, this area’s non-profit blood provider, announces that it is asking potential donors who have traveled to the Caribbean, Mexico or Central or South America not to donate blood for 28 days after leaving those areas where the mosquito-borne Zika virus is becoming more widespread.
If you’re healthy and are not affected by this post-travel waiting period, please make an appointment today to donate blood at the Woonsocket community blood drive on Thursday, April 21. The drive will be at the Woonsocket Community Center from 1 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. To make an appointment, call Carrie Howard at 796-4061.
“Zika virus could be transmitted by  transfusion and there is no test to screen blood donors,” said Dr. Hany Kamel, vice president and corporate medical director for Blood Systems, the national office of United Blood Services.
“We are aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is discussing official guidance about donors who have traveled to these regions. Until that guidance is available, we are taking this cautionary step.”
The restriction is expected to reduce the number of eligible donors across the U.S. by an estimated two percent, according to a recent survey of community blood centers. Blood centers in states along the border with Mexico will be particularly affected, as will states in the north and Midwest, where some residents routinely travel to Mexico and the Caribbean to escape winter weather.
Appointments can also be made at www.UnitedBloodServices.org. With each donation, donors receive a free total cholesterol test. Donation takes about an hour from check-in to refreshments. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completeing their Fast Track Health History the day they donate at www.UnitedBloodServices.org.
Volunteer donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are between age 16 and 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.

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