Due to the latest Zika virus outbreak, Nebraskans who want to donate blood are being asked to wait a month if they’ve recently traveled to south Florida.
Potential donors were already being deferred if they’d recently visited Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America or the Pacific Islands.
That risk area is being broadened, according to Claire DeRoin at LifeServe Blood Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
“LifeServe is asking that blood donors who have traveled to Broward or Miami-Dade counties in Florida, we ask that they refrain from giving blood for 28 days from the departure date from those affected areas in Florida,” DeRoin says. “The safety of the community blood supply is our top priority.”
LifeServe supplies blood to 120 hospitals in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota.
“We have 100% confidence that the blood supply is safe and will remain safe,” DeRoin says. “That’s the reason we’re putting these precautions and these deferrals in place, just to make sure there is no risk to anyone receiving blood.”
At least 15 Zika cases were confirmed in south Florida in the past several days.
She emphasizes the deferral does -not- include travel to other parts of Florida, like Orlando, Tampa or Jacksonville.