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Bioscience-Medicine news from Texas Public Radio reporters.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Bioscience-Medicine News Desk, including Xenex Disinfection Services, the John and Rita Feik Foundation, the John and Susan Kerr Charitable Foundation, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Jean Cheever and San Antonio Technology Center.  Additional support comes from Cappy and Suzy Lawton and InCube Labs.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

For South Texas blood donors, consenting to have your blood screened for Zika will no longer be voluntary. It will be mandatory.


 Today the Food and Drug Administration mandated the entire donated blood supply be screened for the emerging mosquito-borne virus.


The lifeblood of the South Texas medical community is donated blood. There’s no substitute for human blood, but it has to be screened to keep patients who receive that blood safe.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

Zika can be transmitted several ways, through mosquito bites, sex and blood transfusions. The virus lasts in the bloodstream for a week or two. Although the risk of acquiring Zika through blood products is considered fairly low in the U.S. right now, blood banks are facing a tough transition when dealing with this emerging health threat.

​Expanded Screening  

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

The Zika virus has reared its ugly head in Florida, and experts say Texas could be one of the next states with local transmission from biting mosquitoes. South Texas doctors are busy counseling their pregnant patients on how to protect their babies from the horrible birth defects that Zika can cause.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

A change in policy should make it easier for low-income Texas women to protect themselves against mosquitoes and the threat of the Zika virus.


Normally they are just pests. This summer, mosquitoes seem more sinister with the looming threat of the Zika virus that could creep into Texas soon.



Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

Now that locally-transmitted cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Florida, disease specialists say South Texas and other parts of the country should get ready to deal with Zika-carrying mosquitoes here.