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For Immediate Release
August 25, 2016
AABB Communications Department
Magda Yang
Office: +1.301.215.6569
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AABB Launches Blood Donation Surveillance Network for Zika Virus
Map Tracks Zika Virus Detected in U.S. Blood Donations

Bethesda, Md. – AABB announced today that it has begun working with blood collection centers and testing laboratories across the U.S. to track and map the locations where donated blood has tested positive for Zika virus. Such a map will be instrumental in helping the blood community and public health officials monitor the spread of Zika virus.

AABB will administer the program through its newly created Zika Virus Biovigilance Network, a collaboration between AABB and U.S. blood collection establishments, that will compile results of investigational blood donor screening tests administered throughout the country. The Zika Virus Biovigilance Network is the first network to gather Zika testing data on blood donations and notify blood centers in the network of each reactive test result as it is received.

In addition to alerting blood centers in real time, AABB will maintain a map on its website indicating the location of blood donors with suspected Zika virus infection. “We believe AABB’s Zika surveillance network will prove a vital tool in the fight against Zika virus,” said Miriam A. Markowitz, AABB CEO. “AABB is very pleased to have funded this critical program. It will enable the blood community to keep track, in real time, of locations where Zika virus reactive donors have been identified. Participating blood organizations will receive email alerts every time reactive donations are reported. This network is, ultimately, a public health service that will help keep the blood supply safe from Zika.”

The Zika Virus Biovigilance Network web page includes a map accessible to the public showing locations where Zika-positive donors have been detected. The website also includes background on the development of this electronic surveillance system, and a password-protected area for reporting of test results.

At this time, blood collection establishments screening some or all of the blood collected for the presence of the Zika virus are using one of two available investigational nucleic acid tests (NAT) approved by the FDA.

AABB institutional members that wish to sign up to receive alerts from the Zika Virus Biovigilance Network, should contact the AABB Department of Research at hemovigilance@aabb.org.

About AABB

AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in transfusion medicine, cellular therapies and patient blood management. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership consists of nearly 1,500 institutions and 7,500 individuals, including physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. Members are located in more than 80 countries. For more information, visit www.aabb.org.​

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