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No WNV cases in US to date; CDC issues fact sheet on organ donation.

Although no cases of the West Nile virus (WNV) been confirmed to date in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted a Web site which contains an updated Fact Sheet on organ donation and blood transfusions. As of July 2, 28 states had reported WNV activity in birds, horses or mosquitoes.

Here is a sampling of the Questions and Answers pertaining to organ donation.

Q. What is being done to reduce the risk of transfusion-related WNV transmission in 2003?

A. In 2003, all blood banks will use blood screening tests for WNV. In addition, blood banks will not take donations from people who have fever and headache in the week before they donate blood.

CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), blood collection agencies and state and local health departments will continue to investigate WNV infections in people who receive blood transfusions and transplanted organs to make sure these new screening methods are working.

More information on current FDA efforts can be found at

Q: Should people avoid getting blood transfusions or organ transplants?

A: Roughly 4.5 million people receive blood or blood products annually. The benefits of receiving needed transfusions or transplants outweigh the potential risk of WNV infection. However, doctors and their patients who need blood transfusions or organ transplants should be aware of the risk for WNV infection.

Q: If I recently had a transfusion or transplant, should I be concerned about getting WNV?

A: [The transplant recipient] should be aware of the potential risk for WNV infection and the need to monitor your health. If [the patient] has symptoms of WNV or other concerns, [the patient] should contact their physician. A large number of WNV infections due to mosquito bites occurred among people in the US during 2002. Some of these people also received blood transfusions and/or organ transplantations. If a patient who recently received a blood transfusion or organ transplantation develops an infection, that does not necessarily mean that the transfusion/transplantation was the source of the infection.

The CDC WNV Web site is
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Title Annotation:West Nile virus, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Comment:No WNV cases in US to date; CDC issues fact sheet on organ donation.(West Nile virus, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Publication:Transplant News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 11, 2003
Previous Article:Presumed consent not the reason for Austria's high donor rate, head of transplant committee says.
Next Article:Hispanics have many misperceptions, suspicions about organ donation.

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