At this time, the American Red Cross is closely monitoring the evolving situation regarding the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. We are currently working with government agencies and state officials to determine what Red Cross support may be needed in the coming days and weeks.
As always, the American Red Cross remains dedicated to providing the safest, most reliable blood products possible to patients in need. The risk of contracting any coronavirus through a blood transfusion is extremely low because of the domestic health screening process for blood donors. It is important to note that there have been no reported transfusion transmissions of respiratory viruses including coronaviruses and influenza-like viruses worldwide.
The Red Cross continues to use safety measures to protect the blood supply from all respiratory viruses including this coronavirus strain. Out of an abundance of caution, the Red Cross is working to implement a deferral for individuals who have traveled to Chinaand its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau. Right now, the Red Cross asks that all individuals who have traveled to China self-defer, or to postpone their blood and platelet donation until 28 days following return to the U.S.
We are evaluating all emerging risks in collaboration with AABB, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if additional intervention strategies will be needed as the situation evolves.
Overseas, the Red Cross of China is supporting its government to help meet the huge and sudden demand for medical items including masks and gowns. International Red Cross societies are also working with health authorities to educate communities about how to mitigate the spread of this virus and informing people how to stay healthy.
For the latest information, including tips on how to stay healthy, please visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.