Categorized | Dengue Fever, Health

Does Dengue Fever threaten the blood supply?

By Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Dengue Fever is commonly spread via the bite from a mosquito carrying the virus from an infected human but the question was posed to the Blood Bank of Hawaii if donated blood can carry the virus. The answer from Dr. Randal Covin, Blood Bank of Hawaii Medical Director, is yes.

According to Dr. Covin the Blood Bank of Hawaii does not screen its supplies for the Dengue Virus at this time as there is no licensed test for the donated blood and the center has several safety protocols in place such as:

  • Donors must be healthy and feeling well on day of donation.
  • Donors have their temperature taken at the time of donation and cannot have a fever to donate.
  • Those who feel ill within two weeks of donation should contact Blood Bank of Hawaii as soon as possible.

All donors are instructed on how to contact the blood bank if they feel ill after donating. The information about the donor is reviewed by staff and they may remove the blood from their supply to prevent it being used in a transfusion.

The Blood Bank of Hawaii will continue with their scheduled blood drives on Hawaii Island with three scheduled for November in East Hawaii. A blood drive is schedule for West Hawaii and Waimea in January 2016.

Although it’s possible someone, with asymptomatic or pre-clinical Dengue Fever, may not exhibit symptoms when donating blood a person receiving that blood via a transfusion isn’t in as serious danger as other blood borne ailments such as malaria according to Dr. Lorrin Pang when asked at the Friday (Nov 20) information meeting in Kona.

Blood Bank of Hawaii Blood Drives in East Hawaii
(contact them via their website or phone to make an appointment

November 23, 2015
University of Hawaii at Hilo Athletic Department – Campus Center Room 301
200 West Kawili Street
Hilo, HI 96720

November 24, 2015
Kiwanis of East Hawaii
Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Luau Hale – Main Room
799 Piilani Street
Hilo, HI 96720

November 25, 2015
Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Luau Hale – Main Room
799 Piilani Street
Hilo, HI 96720

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