- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island Blood Center will lay off approximately 60 staff members as part of an organizational restructuring.

WLNE-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1Kgkdcn ) the restructuring comes in the wake of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determining that the state should test all blood for babesiosis, a tick-borne disease with symptoms similar to malaria.

Because the testing is expensive, the Blood Center will reduce its staff in donor services and other departments to be more cost-efficient in collecting blood.

Babesiosis is the No. 1 transfusion transmitted disease in the country.

Additionally, the center will stop blood drives with a goal of 15 or fewer collections.

The changes take effect October 1.

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Information from: WLNE-TV, http://www.abc6.com

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