America’s Blood Centers (ABC) continues to monitor the recent outbreak of the new strain of coronavirus (2019 n-CoV). The 2019 n-CoV poses no risk to blood donors, either during the donation process or from attending organized blood drives. The 2019 n-CoV also poses no risk to patients receiving blood transfusions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not recommended any additional action by blood centers. As such, ABC encourages all donors and sponsors of blood drives to schedule appointments and keep commitments to donate blood.
As a result of various prevention measures, CDC states that the virus is NOT currently spreading in the U.S. and that “[f]or the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-n-CoV is considered LOW at this time.” A risk that is ever-present however is a lack of blood for patients in need. The current flu season and a decrease in donations during the winter months threatens the continued availability of a robust supply. Every 3 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and more than 31,000 pints of blood are used daily. Less than 10 percent of Americans currently donate each year.
Eligible donors of all ages and ethnicities are needed now more than ever. To be eligible to donate, donors must be in good health, feeling well, and have a normal temperature. To find your local blood center, visit www.americasblood.org.