Blood collections suspended due to dengue fever

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A blood collection agency is suspending its blood donation program in Martin and St. Lucie counties due to the risk of a dengue fever outbreak.

In a news release on Wednesday, OneBlood officials said they won’t collect blood in the region until further notice. The company provides blood to 200 hospitals in Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

The Palm Beach Post (http://bit.ly/17ShfaC ) reports the company’s decision came after 15 cases of dengue fever have been diagnosed in the region.

Dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, headache and severe muscle and joint soreness. Some people get a measles-like rash. Health officials say it can be a risk to blood supplies because the viral disease is rare and tests aren’t done at the time of blood collection.

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Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com

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