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Testing Individual Units Of Donated Blood For Zika Likely Not Cost Effective, Study Shows

Associated Press: Study finds little bang for the buck in Zika blood testing
“Screening blood donations for the Zika virus netted only a few infections at a cost of more than $5 million for each positive test result, according to new research. … The study, published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the blood donation testing requirements offered little bang for the buck. It also raised questions about whether a cheaper testing method should be used…” (Stobbe, 5/9).

HealthDay News: Is Testing for Zika in U.S. Blood Supply Worth the Cost?
“…The grand total cost of screening approached $42 million, the study found. Put another way, it cost nearly $5.3 million to catch one Zika-positive donation…” (Norton, 5/9).

STAT: Testing for Zika virus in blood donors finds few infections — at a cost of about $5.3 million each
“…Dr. Susan Stramer, senior author of the study and vice president of scientific affairs at the American Red Cross Biomedical Services, said that moving to test blood donations in small pools as opposed to individually would cut the cost of Zika screening in half. And it would bring Zika screening in line with the way the Red Cross and others test for the variety of pathogens they look for in blood donations, including HIV, West Nile virus, and hepatitis B and C…” (Branswell, 5/9).

Wall Street Journal: Risk of Zika Infection From Blood Transfusion Is Low, New Study Says
“…After causing an explosive epidemic in 2016, Zika has largely receded; many people are now immune to the virus, making it difficult for it to circulate, scientists say. There have been 5,700 symptomatic cases of Zika since 2015 in U.S. states and 37,229 in U.S. territories, namely Puerto Rico, between 2015 and the beginning of May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…” (McKay, 5/9).