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Blood bank begins testing samples for zika

Posted at 4:39 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 19:39:27-04

Houchin Community Blood Bank has begun sending out their donated blood samples to Phoenix, Arizona, to be tested for the Zika virus. 

23ABC has been informed this evening that the 19 samples that were sent to be tested have all returned without Zika. 

Carola Enriquez is the director of community development for the blood bank. She says that 16 and 17-year-olds now have to have a parental permission slip in order donate. 

Only volunteers are able to donate blood. Donors will not only be contributing toward other people and hospitals in need, but they will also be receiving test results on 14 different infections and diseases, including Zika. They will also be able to figure out their blood type. 

Enriquez says that someone that is determined to be positive for Zika will be invited to participate in further analysis of their blood through this clinical trial that is going on. 

If not, the sample containing Zika would be discarded and not go to any patient. 

Enriquez says they are always looking for healthy donors. 

"They are getting all these tests on their blood for free as well as a mini physical because we have to do all that, test their iron for example until we determine that they are indeed a good candidate for blood donation and what they're going to be providing that day is going to make it to a patient and be safe for the patient." 

Anyone interested in learning more about how to donate or learn more about the process is urged to contact the blood bank. The contact info has been listed below. 

Houchin Community Blood Bannk

11515 Bolthouse Dr., Bakersfield, CA

(661) 616-2526