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Medical News & Perspectives
October 2, 2002

Investigation Probes Risk of Contracting West Nile Virus via Blood Transfusions

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JAMA. 2002;288(13):1573-1574. doi:10.1001/jama.288.13.1573

Even as the 2002 West Nile virus (WNV) epidemic is expected to wind down for the season, researchers are pressing on with efforts to determine whether the virus can be transmitted among humans through blood transfusions.

If blood proves to be a possible route of infection—a possibility that public health experts stress is currently unproven but a matter of intense investigation—a test that will enable blood banks to screen blood for the presence of WNV will be a priority, according to authorities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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