Glossary

A List of Commonly Used Terms in Blood Banking

Zika Virus

Zika virus (pronounced “ZEE-ka”) is a mosquito-transmitted virus that underwent explosive spread in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean in 2015 and 2016. The virus is transmitted by the same mosquito that carries dengue and chikungunya (Aedes species, especially A. aegypti). Zika differs from the other two viruses in several ways, including an association with cases of microcephaly in babies born to Zika-infected mothers, and reports of sexual transmission from infected males. There have been two reported cases of transfusion transmission in the lay press, but blood transmission is not yet proven in the scientific literature. The U.S. FDA and AABB have specified measures to prevent Zika from entering the blood supply. Collection centers are required to ask donors about travel to areas with Zika transmission, symptoms consistent with Zika infection (including fever, rash, joint/muscle pain, conjunctivitis, and headache), and sexual contact with a man with Zika risk factors.

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