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CDC Updates Consumers on Ebola and Blood Safety

December 3, 2014
CDC Updates Consumers on Ebola and Blood Safety

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a brief update to address potential concerns that consumers of blood and blood products may have about the transmission risk of the Ebola virus disease (Ebola). The release states that in none of the countries experiencing large Ebola outbreaks have there been reports of actual blood-borne transmissions of the virus. It should also be noted, however, that these same countries do not have systems in place to monitor blood product safety. In light of this, the CDC and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are focused on the US blood safety system.

“FDA has policies in place for whole blood donations that would result in deferral of potential donors from countries in Africa experiencing the Ebola outbreak due to the risk of malaria.  In addition, plasma-derived products have viral clearance steps that have been demonstrated to be effective for lipid-enveloped viruses," explained CDC in the release. “It is likely that Ebola virus would be inactivated by such methods used in the manufacture of plasma derivatives because it is a lipid-enveloped virus.”

Visit the CDC web site to learn more about the agency’s blood safety monitoring system.

While the FDA is also considering issuing a “guidance for blood establishments,” no time frame was mentioned for its release. Outside of federal action, the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA), both key entities in blood and blood product collection and manufacturing, issued Ebola-related statements.

AABB is an international association representing individuals and institutions involved in activities related to transfusion and cellular therapies, including transplantation medicine. Its member facilities are responsible for collecting virtually all of the nation’s blood supply and transfusing more than 80% of all blood and blood components used in the US. PPTA is a trade organization that represents more than 450 human plasma collection centers in North America and Europe, as well as the manufacturers of life-saving plasma protein therapies. PPTA members produce approximately 80% of the plasma protein therapies in the US and 60% of those manufactured in Europe.

Read the AABB statement

Read the PPTA statement

Source: CDC release to bleeding disorders community, dated November 24, 2014