As flu season approaches, the American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood or platelets as the nation braces for flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, recent severe weather in the wake of Hurricane Zeta has also forced the cancellation of drives in many areas impacted by the storm.
Ronnika McFall is a spokesperson with the agency.
“It’s just so important right now that we keep blood donations at the top of mind. You can donate safely every 56 days, so if you have not donated in a while, please consider donating blood.”
Medical personnel encourage people to get flu shots to avoid a flu epidemic during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Red Cross, there is no waiting period after receiving a flu vaccination, as long as the donor is symptom-free and fever-free.
“Because blood can only be given by those who are feeling well, a severe flu season could create additional challenges to maintain a sufficient blood supply for hospital patients in need.”
The organization is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. The test does not diagnose the disease, but it shows if a donor has been exposed to the virus. Test results are available within a week or two.
For more information, visit www.redcrossblood.org.