New York Blood Center will screen all blood for Zika virus

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Blood Center will begin screening its blood supply for the Zika virus.

The announcement Tuesday by the New York City-based blood bank comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidelines Friday recommending Zika testing for all donated blood.

The New York Blood Center supplies blood to about 200 hospitals in the northeastern United States. Along with its partners the Community Blood Center of Kansas City, Missouri and Innovative Blood Resources of St. Paul, Minnesota it collects approximately 2,000 units of blood products daily.

Dr. Christopher Hillyer, president of the blood center, said the nonprofit is dedicated to delivering safe blood to all the communities it serves.

Zika usually causes a mild illness but can lead to severe birth defects if women are infected during pregnancy.