- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - The SunCoast Blood Bank, which supports hospitals in Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte counties, is testing all donors for the Zika virus.

The Herald-Tribune (https://bit.ly/2aGaRse) reports that although no locally transmitted cases have been reported in southwest Florida, the blood bank is testing all donations.

SunCoast Blood Bank’s testing for the virus, which causes severe birth defects if acquired during pregnancy, could also help boost the blood bank’s overall supply.

Throughout the summer, as the Zika virus has spread throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America, the blood bank has turned away donors who have traveled to Zika-affected countries within 28 days of their blood donation. Now the blood bank will test all donors and could potentially accept blood from people who have traveled to affected areas.

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Information from: Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, https://www.heraldtribune.com

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