Possible Link Between West Nile Virus and Donated Blood - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/3/02 - Tyler

Possible Link Between West Nile Virus and Donated Blood

The Centers for Disease Control is trying to figure out if a Georgia woman, who died after a car crash, passed on West Nile through her donated organs.

Four of the people who've received those organs have become sick with the virus... one has died. The Georgia woman might have contracted the disease in a blood transfusion she received before her death. But, that still hasn't been proven yet.

At Stewart Regional Blood Center in Tyler, donors' blood is screened for HIV, Hepatitis, and other diseases... but there is no test right now for West Nile. West Nile is extremely rare, but blood banks will be following donors to make sure they don't come down with the virus.

Michelle Cassel, Stewart Regional Blood Center:  "Somebody might have donated blood and in that two to 14 days, they might have contracted West Nile. Bt there's no way of knowing that until they start showing symptoms."

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