Blood donated in Florida tests positive for the Zika virus

Posted at 7:39 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 19:40:50-04

The federal government and OneBlood confirm that they've found the Zika virus in a blood donation in Florida.

Officials with OneBlood say they test a sample of every Florida donor's blood for Zika in their St. Petersburg lab. The company's Chief Medical Officer confirmed that a test done there tested positive.

"That was shortly after we started testing in August," Dr. Rita Reik said in a statement. "The donation did not enter the blood supply. We don't release blood until all tests come back negative."

WPTV asked a OneBlood spokesman where in Florida the Zika-positive donation took place. He refused to provide specifics, directing any further questions to the Florida Department of Health.


The Department of Health did not say where the donor whose blood tested positive for the virus was from.

At the end of the summer, blood banks in Florida temporarily stopped taking donations from people in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, due to the Zika alert. They also began testing every donor's blood for the virus. OneBlood claims to be using new, cutting edge technology to make sure infected blood doesn't make it to hospitals.

The American Red Cross is also testing all Florida blood donations for the Zika virus. The Red Cross does not take blood donations in Florida, but representatives say in northern Florida, where they do, they're turning away potential donors who have recently traveled to Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade counties.