Testing for Zika Virus in Blood Donors Finds Few Infections–at a Cost of About $5.3 Million Each

May 11, 2018

(STAT News) – An expensive screening program designed to keep the Zika virus out of the Red Cross’ blood supply has caught fewer than a dozen infected donations, a new study published Wednesday revealed. The program, which costs roughly $137 million a year to operate, detected only eight units that tested positive for the virus between June 2016 and September 2017. And half of those units contained Zika antibodies as well as virus, which suggests they probably would not have been able to infect a recipient, if anyone had been transfused with them.

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