FDA bans blood donation by people who have lived in UK
- By: Scott Gottlieb
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has imposed a ban on blood donations from anyone who has spent more than six months in Britain from 1980 to 1997 because of the possible risk of transmitting the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).
The exclusion dates coincide with the time when exposure to CJD was considered to be at its peak in the United Kingdom. The American Red Cross estimates that the ban will cut US blood donations by 2.2% at a time when experts are already predicting severe nationwide blood shortages.
Variant CJD has affected about 40 people in the world, including 39 in Britain. It has never been transmitted through the blood except during experiments in which it was injected into the brains of mice. But the FDA said that it was concerned that scientists have not fully ascertained how the disease