Blood Safety

The American Red Cross has been involved in Zika Virus Planning meetings with the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Disaster Task Force, which includes America's Blood Centers, Blood Centers of America, and the Armed Services Blood Program Office, to ensure that all Department of Health and Human Service, Centers for Disease Control, and Food and Drug Administration guidance, policies, and information are clearly communicated with the various blood centers in the U.S.
 
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued recommendations for blood screening, donor screening, donor deferral, and product management to reduce the risk for transfusion-transmitted Zika virus in the United States and its territories. The most up-to-date guidance from the FDA can be found http://www.fda.gov/%20EmergencyPreparedness/Counterterrorism/MedicalCountermeasures/MCMIssues/ucm485199.htm.
 
In the event of local or widespread Zika virus transmission in Illinois, the AABB Disaster Task Force will coordinate the provision of blood and blood products and share state and federal guidance with the American Red Cross, America's Blood Centers, and Blood Centers of America. IDPH meets monthly with State emergency response partners, including the American Red Cross at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.  Information is shared among partners and assistance provided during emergency response events. If there is a lack of blood donors because of possible exposure, the American Red Cross will provide blood from non-affected regions of the country.

IDPH maintains an up-to-date listserv of all FDA-registered blood centers and local health departments and hospitals in the state and communicates with them to ensure situational awareness of available guidance from the AABB Disaster Task Force, HHS, FDA, and CDC.  Backup communications between IDPH, hospitals, and blood centers are available through Illinois’ Starcom21 Public Safety radio network. Blood centers identifying a donor who is positive for Zika virus should follow the standard protocol for reporting diseases to IDPH.