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INDIANAPOLIS -- State health officials report that routine screening by the American Red Cross detected West Nile virus in blood donated by a LaGrange County resident. The individual developed no symptoms of West Nile infection. The blood was not put into circulation.
"The fact that West Nile virus was detected in a blood donation demonstrates the effectiveness of the screening process in helping to protect the blood supply," said State Health Commissioner Gregory Wilson, MD. "This is simply further evidence of the presence of West Nile virus in Indiana."
The first step in screening blood donors for potential exposure to West Nile virus occurs during the health history questioning at the beginning of the donation process. The second step is for all donated blood to be screened for a variety of viruses, including the West Nile virus. Any blood that screens positive for these viruses is destroyed.
State health officials also report that tests performed at the State Laboratories have determined that a suspect case of West Nile virus in Elkhart County is the third human case in Indiana this year. Since the LaGrange County resident did not develop symptoms of West Nile virus infection, that individual is not considered by state health officials to be a human case of West Nile virus. To date, West Nile virus activity has been reported in 33 Indiana counties from all over the state.
Source: Indiana State Department of Health