Blood bank to test blood in Utrecht for West Nile virus | NOW

The Sanquin blood bank will test blood donated in the Utrecht region for the West Nile virus. It has been known since Thursday that the first person in the Netherlands in this region is infected with this virus.

It is important for Sanquin to test the donated blood, because the West Nile virus can spread via blood, for example during a transfusion. According to the blood bank, there is a chance that more people are infected with the virus. It could therefore be that Sanquin has ingested blood infected by the virus.

That chance is small, says the Sanquin spokesperson. After all, not everyone is a blood donor. Nevertheless, the blood bank bears responsibility for safe blood. That is why donations in the Utrecht region are being investigated. Sanquin is also investigating donated blood in the regions of Het Gooi and the east of South Holland.

Found infected warbler

Earlier this year in September, researchers found a warbler carrying the West Nile virus. That was the first time that the disease was found in the Netherlands. However, the spreaders of the West Nile virus are not birds or humans, but mosquitoes. So people cannot transmit the virus to each other unless they are given contaminated blood.

The RIVM has been investigating the virus since 2018, because in rare cases it can cause serious diseases, a spokesperson told a news partner last month. DUIC know. Of the people who become infected, 20 percent develop complaints such as fever and skin rash. The chance that an infected person will become seriously ill and get meningitis, for example, is 1 percent. 80 percent of infected people are completely unaware of the virus.


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