Kansas to use nearly $1.2M in federal funds to fight Zika

On Friday Aug. 26 2016 the Food and Drug Administration recommended that all U.S. blood banks start screening for the Zika virus a major expansion intended to protect the nation's blood supply from the mosquito-borne disease

In the next four weeks, SC and 10 other states should begin screening blood donations for the Zika virus, following a U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommendation.

"This is regardless of whether they have been to Zika-affected areas", health officials said.

Previously, the FDA recommended that blood donations be screened for Zika only in areas where the virus was being actively transmitted-in Puerto Rico, Florida, and other USA territories.

Zika virus is carried by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito and can cause birth defects if pregnant women are infected.

Florida is the only USA state where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found active Zika virus transmissions, with 29 locally transmitted cases confirmed.

Gov. Rick Scott continues his tour around Florida updating concerned residents about the Zika virus. Officials on the island have reported reported more than 14,000 cases, including 1,244 among pregnant women.

Amnuay said the Zika virus causes fever, skin rashes, body aches and headache, which normally clear up in a week.

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There have been almost 700 confirmed Zika cases in the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Republicans in Congress to fund the fight against the Zika virus. Vision problems and malformed joints have also been documented.

Previously, the US, Australia, Taiwan, and South Korea all warned their pregnant citizens not to travel to Singapore.

Belanger said they've already submitted paperwork for testing and it's in front of the FDA for approval once approved Shepeard Community Blood Center will be doing universal testing on all donors for the Zika Virus here in Augusta.

Almost all of those diagnosed reported cases were in Puerto Rico. American Red Cross blood centers have been taking precautions before accepting blood donations.

"Testing labs and the test vendors are working feverishly to allow testing to start on time in the areas subject to the 12 week timeline", said Dr. Louis Katz, in an email.

New York, and 10 other states, have less than a month to put the new screening in place. "For blood centers who may have never used this equipment, they have to bring it in, they have to learn to use it, they have to validate it". Through these screenings, FDA confirmed last Friday, that one Zika-infected person has already been prevented from donating blood. The move is "a strong step forward in protecting our nation's blood supply", Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said in a statement.