- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Southwest Florida blood banks are seeking blood donations before anyone in the state contracts the Zika virus from local mosquitoes.

All 80 cases of Zika reported in Florida so far stemmed from travel outside the U.S., including one case that was sexually transmitted.

Suncoast Blood Bank CEO Scott Bush tells the Herald Tribune (https://bit.ly/1PRXty7) that his facility has rejected about 5 percent of recent donors for exposure to Zika overseas.

Bush says any locally acquired Zika case would shut down blood collection for 30 days in the ZIP code where it’s reported. Blood banks elsewhere in Florida would have to provide blood products to hospitals in that ZIP code.

Federal officials approved a new test to screen for Zika in blood donors, but Bush says it’s unclear when it would be ready for local use.


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