The news that two nurses have become infected with Ebola in Texas is unnerving for many in the U.S. According to the CDC, however, Ebola does not pose a significant risk currently to the American public.
Puget Sound Blood Center and local hospitals are vigilant in taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our blood supply.
People in the U.S. who were potentially infected with Ebola while visiting West Africa are already ineligible to donate for one year due to existing travel restrictions, as all of the countries impacted by the Ebola outbreak are also potential malaria risk regions.
Ebola is only contagious when patients exhibit symptoms, including fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting. These symptoms would be identified in the routine pre-donation screening. Anyone who is not feeling well, for whatever reason, should not donate blood.
Furthermore, anyone who may have been in contact with patients with or suspected to have Ebola in the past 28 days has been asked to refrain from giving blood — we are adding additional questions to our screening procedure. There is no evidence of asymptomatic Ebola transmission, but we are taking this additional safety precaution.
Within our Centers and labs, we have robust precautionary procedures in place, and our staff are following those procedures.
Please feel free to contact our Clinical Program at (800) DONATE-1, x3077 or ClinicalProgram@psbc.org if you have any questions.