Friday, February 18, 2011
New Zealand Blood Donation
Starting in 2000, the New Zealand Blood Service banned donations from anyone who lived in Britain, France, or Ireland for six months or longer during 1980 and 1996. This ban was put in place because of the risk of donated blood helping to transmits vCJD.
British scientists have recently developed a prototype blood test which is 100,000 times more sensitive than the previous test. This test is able to detect tiny amounts of vCJD-causing particles(prions).
The lead researcher, Graham Jackson, said that even though larger studies are going to be needed to confirm its effectiveness, the tests could in the future allow doctors to screen whole populations for vCJD. If this test is truly effective it could clear the way for thousands of residents of New Zealand to give blood.