Red Cross screening donors for Zika virus - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Red Cross screening donors for Zika virus

Zika virus (Source: AP Images) Zika virus (Source: AP Images)

The Red Cross says there is a shortage of blood, but with the threat of Zika they did say they have to be careful when it comes to screening donors.

The Red Cross of Eastern Missouri tells us the most important thing is checking a donor's travel history. If someone has traveled to an affected area such as Mexico, the Caribbean or South and Central America in the last month, those people must wait at least 28 days before donating.

But with all of these precautions, the Red Cross is telling News 4 it's still very important that people continue to donate.

"With the bad weather we’ve had in St. Louis and the East Coast, we do have a shortage so we’re requesting if you can donate blood or if you’re not sure contact the Red Cross at,” Cindy Erickson, of the American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri, said. “Find out if you’re eligible to donate blood, we would greatly appreciate it. Every time you donate blood it can save up to three lives."

The Red Cross tells News 4 it's possible previous donors whose blood is already in their banks may be affected.

If signs of symptoms of Zika begin to show, people affected should report it to the Red Cross immediately.

The most common symptoms are flu like aches and fever, but up to 80 percent of affected victims have showed no symptoms at all.

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