Screening of Blood Donations for Zika Virus Infection - Puerto Rico, April 3-June 11, 2016
Kuehnert, Matthew J.
Basavaraju, Sridhar V.
Moseley, Robin R.
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Transfusion-transmitted infections have been documented for several arboviruses, including West Nile and dengue viruses (1). Zika virus, a flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that has been identified as a cause of congenital microcephaly and other serious brain defects (2), became recognized as a potential threat to blood safety after reports from a 2013-2014 outbreak in French Polynesia. Blood safety concerns were based on very high infection incidence in the population at large during epidemics, the high percentage of persons with asymptomatic infection, the high proportion of blood donations with evidence of Zika virus nucleic acid upon retrospective testing, and an estimated 7-10-day period of viremia (3). At least one instance of transfusion transmission of Zika virus has been documented in Brazil after the virus emerged there, likely in 2014 (4). Rapid epidemic spread has followed to other areas of the Americas, including Puerto Rico.