Health questions weed out potential West Nile carriers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Health questions weed out potential West Nile carriers

September 5, 2002

Albany--Red Cross leaders say if you need blood you should be more worried about dwindling supplies than contracting the West Nile virus.

The F.D.A, C.D.C, and Red Cross are still investigating whether four people were infected with West Nile as a result of organ donation. Before the donor died she got multiple blood transfusions possibly infecting her with the disease.

Grady Braziel who heads up Donor Services for the South says there is no test to check for West Nile. But he says donors are asked a series of health questions to try to weed out potential carriers. Braziel says, "If the case does prove to be one that transfusion occurred, it will be one out of countless millions that have been done while this disease has been prevalent, so its still very minuscule risk to patient receiving blood."

Braziel says the Red Cross will continue to be vigilant about asking donors about their health. He says anyone who may be ill will not be allowed to donate blood.

Posted at 4:08 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com