Blood Testing Begins for West Nile

There's a new way here in East Texas to safeguard yourself against the West Nile virus. That's the sometimes deadly mosquito-borne illness.

The Stewart Regional Blood Center and their donors are part of an investigational study.  It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to test for West Nile which killed 284 people last year, and infected more than 4,000.

"The West Nile virus is something a lot of people have and don't know they have it," says Fran Mooney, Stewart Regional Blood Center Compliance. "So when they come into donate, they don't know they have the virus and this test will be picked up in the blood and we will not use it if it is positive."

The testing center the blood center uses was contacted by the FDA to do the study. The new West Nile screening starts July 1st.