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A Georgia woman died several days ago when her brain-swelled supposedly because of West Nile Virus.
The woman had received an organ transplant and reports indicate the organ donor contracted West Nile Virus through a blood transfusion.
David Montgomery is the senior director of donor services at the community blood center of the Ozarks, C-B-C-O.
He says there are safeguards in place to make sure an individual with West Nile isn't allowed to donate.
Those who contract West Nile usually have flu-like symptoms.
And that's why the American Red Cross Blood Bank in Springfield takes precautions similar to those of the C-B-C-OM asking donors how they feel.
Gayla Fewell is the donor recruitment supervisor with the Red Cross.
Beyond the safeguards that are in place, she says there's a recognition that individuals who aren't feeling well are unlikely to want to leave the house, much less give blood.
At this point, David Montgomery says it's unlikely concerns about West Nile Virus will shrink the pool of eligible donors.
But he says some blood banks are thinking about moving in that direction.
Montgomery says the C-B-C-O is not ready to exclude from the donorpool people with mosquito bites.
He says it's important to keep the scope of the problem in perspective.
Both blood banks encourage individuals to give because the supply is low, as is typical during warm weather.
Right now, there is no way to test donated blood for the West Nile Virus'Montgomery says if such a test were developed, it would be easy to add it to the tests already conducted on donor blood.