HK to screen blood donors to prevent Ebola

Updated: 2014-08-27 16:27


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HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service (BTS) announced Wednesday that it will defer blood donation by those who have lived in or visited countries with Ebola virus outbreak.

With immediate effect, people who had been to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria cannot give blood in Hong Kong for at least 28 days from the date he or she departed from these countries.

A spokesperson for the BTS said the screening decision was made as a precautionary measure by the city's Hospital Authority Expert Panel on Blood and Blood Products Safety and has been endorsed by the Blood Transfusion Service Governing Committee.

The spokesperson said the deferral policy is aimed to ensure blood safety, while blood supply would not be affected.

Ebola virus disease has an incubation period of two to 21 days. The BTS will closely follow the latest information on the virus outbreak as announced by the World Health Organization in order to revise the blood donation screening policies.