Brazilian heath authorities have confirmed two cases of the Zika virus being transmitted through blood transfusions. Both cases occurred in early 2015, the first being a man with gunshot wounds and the other being a liver transplant recipient (WSJ). Both were treated in Campinas, a city near Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil (Reuters). The first recipient of the transfusions later died from his gunshot wounds and not from the Zika virus (Reuters). It was not confirmed that the patients were infected with the Zika virus until recently; it was initially thought that they had the dengue virus, which can also be carried by mosquitos (WSJ).
The American Red Cross has urged blood donors to wait 28 days to donate blood if they have recently traveled to a Central or South American country, and has made it clear to donors that if they notice any symptoms of the Zika virus after donating blood to notify the organization immediately so their donation can be quarantined (Washington Post).
Tags: Global Health, South America, Kipersztok, Zika virus, Brazil