This episode comes in two parts, recorded a couple of months apart to reflect what was happening in 2016 with Zika virus.
Original Zika Podcast (July 2016); Start here
Zika Update (September 2016)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Things have changed pretty dramatically since I recorded the first Zika podcast in July 2016! On August 26, 2016, FDA released a guidance that “recommends” that ALL U.S. blood donors are tested for Zika, using the investigational nucleic acid test mentioned in the podcast. This will change how blood centers approach the issue substantially. The update above briefly discusses what has changed.
Talk of Zika has been pretty much everywhere for most of 2016, with athletes declining to participate in the Olympic Games, and pregnant ladies concerned about their unborn children. The blood industry has taken steps to reduce for the possibility of transmission through transfusion, as well. Until now, however, Zika in the U.S. was primarily acquired by travelers to countries where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is transmitting the virus from one person to another (i.e., “local transmission”). On July 29, 2016, the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control essentially confirmed local transmission in a very small area in South Florida. This changes the game for blood collectors, and this podcast is recorded in response to numerous questions. We discuss the virus in general, the clinical issues associated with it, and the blood industry’s response moving forward. This episode is NOT an official position statement, just an educational summary for interested listeners.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Dr. Shafi and I do not have any relevant financial disclosures.