WHO and Canadian Blood Services Are Endangering North America's Blood Supply
"21 Versus 28 Days" Should Be 6 to 9 Months
Eurosurveillance states (in their Editorial Policy): Except where otherwise stated, all manuscripts published after 1 January 2016 will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-by-4.0) licence.
Our Blood Supply
is Definitely Not Safe
On August 26th, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued revised guidance and recommended the universal testing of donated whole blood and blood components for the Zika virus in the U.S. and its territories.
Initially, the FDA recommended (February 16th, 2016) "only areas with active Zika virus transmission" screen donated whole blood and blood components for the virus.
American Red Cross Exposed
On October 17th, 2016, Bloodworks Northwest made the shortcomings of the American Red Cross publicly known in a press release titled Concerns over Zika virus testing in Pacific Northwest: Bloodworks to fully comply with FDA mandate, while American Red Cross declines.
"Given that the Red Cross collects 40% of the nation’s blood, it is a public health concern that they do not meet the same FDA deadlines and testing protocol as independent, non-profit blood centers like Bloodworks, who together account for the remaining 60%." ~ Dr. James P. AuBuchon, Bloodworks president and CEO
More Zika-Tainted Blood in Florida
But I Am Sure Our Entire Blood Supply is Affected
On October 20th, 2016, more Zika-tainted blood was uncovered in Florida.
- Discuss the screening protocols being used by testing labs.
- Reveal how many labs are – or are not – using the double testing procedure.
- Inform where the Zika-tainted blood was discovered.
- Notify when the Zika-tainted blood was found.
Active Transmission of Zika Virus (All of U.S.)
Undoubtedly Canada is Included; Culex are Everywhere
On Facebook, I Publicly Posted My Concerns
Canadian Blood Services (Sterling and Jodi) Replied
"The risk of the Zika virus entering the Canadian blood system is extremely low. We will, nevertheless, continue to monitor the situation. You can learn more here: http://itsinyoutogive.ca/Annual/2016/#patient/zika"
"We’re keeping a very close eye on reports of the Zika Virus in the U.S. and take this situation seriously. We’ve determined the risk of Zika Virus entering the Canadian blood system to be extremely low. As we monitor the situation, we are prepared to update our screening criteria should it pose a risk to the Canadian blood supply.
For more information on our response to the Zika Virus, please visit: http://itsinyoutogive.ca/Annual/2016/#patient/zika"
How is 21 Days More Reassuring?
Unless You Are Hoping to Infect Our Blood Supply
On October 27th, 2016 "Sterling" Responded
To My Post With the Exact Same Message and Link:
On November 2nd, 2016 a Sponsored Ad
Appeared in My Facebook Feed, So I Commented:
November 4th, 2016: "Sterling" is a Robot?
November 6th, 2016: "Sterling" is Tarnished
After Plotting the WHO and FDA Guidelines
Plus the Study Findings Over Mosquito Season, I Could Not Believe the Actions (or Rather Inactions) of the Canadian Blood Services or the American Red Cross!
The Protocol is Usually to Triple the Time
And For Good Reason
On Friday, March 25, 2016, the CDC issued Updated Zika Recommendations: Timing of Pregnancy after Zika Exposure, Prevention of Sexual Transmission, Considerations for Reducing Unintended Pregnancy in Areas with Zika Transmission. It stated:
Ebola virus lives on in semen months after recovery, new research findsEbola Virus Remains in Semen for Up to 9 MonthsEbola virus remains present in semen for as long as 18 months
How Long is the Zika Virus in Blood? 3 Months
Viral RNA in Serum 8 Days; Whole Blood 81 Days
Yesterday, October 21st, 2016, the CDC posted Volume 23, Number 1—January 2017: Prolonged Detection of Zika Virus in Vaginal Secretions and Whole Blood.
And I submitted the following (slightly condensed for this article) comment to its authors. I know it was received since the prompt "Comment submitted successfully, thank you for your feedback" appeared after I sent it.
WPTV News | West Palm Beach Florida
Charlie Keegan Asked Gov. Scott to Explain Why his Office Never Told the Public About Zika-Infected Blood
News Channel 5 confirmed a blood donation in August tested positive for Zika. The Florida Department of Health said it counted the case just like any other case. Making no differentiation in its daily report.
Gov. Scott explained that's because experts treat the cases the same way.
Because Experts Treat the Cases the Same Way
India Requires Donors to Wait 120 Days (4 Months)
I am relieved to hear that India is taking measures to protect their blood supply.
Dr Srikala Acharya, director of Maharashtra State Aids Control Society (MSACS), confirmed:
"It has now been made mandatory to check the travel history of donors to find out whether they have recently travelled to any of the Zika-affected countries."
Addendum November 21st, 2016
Over 1/2 Million Blood Donations Test Positive For Zika
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defended its recommendation that all blood in the U.S. be screened for the Zika virus.
As of November 12th, 2016, a whopping 564,571 donations have tested positive on the cobas Zika test.
Dr. Jay S. Epstein, Office of Blood Research and Review director at the FDA, said in a statement:
"Zika virus is a transfusion transmitted disease which can cause potentially severe consequences including microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. The requirement to test blood donations for Zika virus has already resulted in interdicting contaminated collections confirming the value of testing."
Addendum January 8th, 2017: A NEJM Post
ZIKV in Pregnant Woman's Serum For 107 Days
A NEJM Journal Watch post by Richard T. Ellison III, MD states:
- Zika virus was detectable in a pregnant woman's serum samples for more than 3 and a half months after symptom onset.
- Maternal viremia persisted through 107 days after symptom onset, on six assays with a relatively stable viral load.
- Persistent viremia may serve as an early marker for ZIKV disease in the newborn and could help guide management of pregnant women with ZIKV infection.
Addendum January 12th, 2017
Zika in Saliva 49 Days; in Whole Blood 101 Days
For over a month and half, the Zika virus persists in saliva. That means a cough or sneeze can easily spread it to someone nearby.
Within a month, I cough a sneeze a few times (even when I am not ill).
Also, it's been found in whole blood for 101 days. Notably, the patient wasn't a pregnant woman; the patient was a 41-year-old man.Credit: Screenshot by RoseWrites of Univadis site (since only healthcare professionals can access it) [Fair Use]
Screenshot taken by RoseWrites on January 17th, 2017 of Univadis website page (since information is only accessible to healthcare professionals) [Fair Use]
Addendum January 13th, 2017: Tina Marie
From the American Red Cross Responded to Me
I decided to leave Facebook comments on both the American Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross posts / ads (since these often show up in my feed).
The comment I left: "Ask if the American Red Cross is going to extend their 28-day wait for donors returning from Zika-endemic areas. Zika has been found in whole blood for a whopping 101 days. In India, donors must wait 4 months."
I was aghast to receive this response on the American Red Cross Facebook page from Tina Marie:
"Hi Rose. I also have a home in Panama which is on the list but because Zika is also now being found in the USA (from bites here and not just travelers) I'm hoping this will cause testing just like it is done for HIV. Thankfully, Zika can be tested.
Rarely am I bitten anymore as because of the humidity there, I tend to spray all over after showering while I'm there.
Plus, in most cases there are flu like symptoms so many get tested in the affected areas.
I'm hoping it's not extended as there's a dire need for blood. I believe the 28 day is the symptoms waiting period as you should know within that time.
They are going to most likely have to do something since it's sexually transmittable to people who've not traveled. My hope is in blood testing."
I responded: "Tina Marie Well, it's a shame (and waste of valuable resources - staff, blood bags, needles, etc. if they don't extend it). A whopping 80 percent of those infected have no symptoms, so how are these donors supposed to know within 28 days? Did you know that over 1/2 million donations have already tested positive for ZIKV?"
I took a screenshot of Tina Marie's response too (shown below).
Tina Marie Hopes 28-Day Wait is NOT Extended
I Hope You Or Someone You Love Does Not Need Blood
Addendum: February 14th, 2017
Persistence of Zika Virus in Body Fluids - Preliminary Report
On February 14th, 2017, The New England Journal of Medicine posted the study "Persistence of Zika Virus in Body Fluids — Preliminary Report" by Gabriela Paz-Bailey et al. which clearly states:
"The minimal time that persons who have potential exposure to ZIKV should avoid donating blood is currently 120 days."
India was wise to impose the 120-day wait for donors who return from Zika-endemic areas (like Florida).
Based on What We Know so Far About Zika
The Time Travelers Should Wait to Donate Blood
Everyone involved in public health and safety of our blood supply should be tripling the time that the Zika virus has been found in blood. What that means:
120 days x 3 = 360 days divided by 30 (1 month) = 1 year
Prior to that, on or soon after June 30th, 2016, this should have been:
58 days x 3 = 174 days divided by 30 (1 month) = 5.8 months
Furthermore, I find it highly deceptive for the WHO to advise "not to donate blood for at least 1 month" since obviously our public health authorities and those involved in ensuring we have a safe blood supply have interpreted this to mean "wait a month to donate blood" (or just 28 days).
In Canada, it's even worse. Canadian Blood Services has somehow decided that a mere 21 days (3 weeks) is long enough.
We are headed for a disastrous public health emergency.
Sadly, this is (and was) highly preventable.
Ways You Can Help
Spread the word. Share this article. Ask questions. Do not donate blood (and tell others not to donate blood) if you have been to a Zika-endemic area within the last year (including the southern U.S. states).
I would wait a good year, actually, before I donated blood.
Recently, I created a collection on Zazzle with products that promote the prevention of the spread of Zika. Every item purchased will help fund Zika research: Zika: Let's Stop a Global Pandemic Collection.
Author's note: All of my citations have a clickable link to their source. The list is found in the bibliography at the end of this page.