-- Blood donations have been halted in two Florida counties being investigated as the epicenter of a possible outbreak of locally transmitted Zika virus, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
At least four cases of Zika infections in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are being investigated by the Florida Health Department as a possible outbreak of locally transmitted Zika. Yesterday, the FDA asked all blood donation centers in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties to cease collecting blood until they can implement tests to check donor blood for signs of the Zika virus. The FDA also recommended that adjacent and nearby counties adhere to these requirements as well.
"These may be the first cases of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the continental United States," FDA officials said in a statement. "In consideration of the possibility of an emerging local outbreak of Zika virus, and as a prudent measure to help assure the safety of blood and blood products, FDA is requesting that all blood establishments in Miami-Dade County and Broward County cease collecting blood immediately until" officials can implement tests for Zika.
More than 1,650 people have been diagnosed with Zika within the U.S., but the vast majority have been people who contracted the virus while abroad. A small number of people contracted the Zika virus through sexual transmission within the U.S.