A new and very scary development in the ever-evolving story of COVID-19 infections

| 03 Jul 2020 | 11:13

    In a new report just cited in the CDC Journal “ Emerging Infectious Diseases” it was just reported that Coronavirus COVID-19 RNA was found in blood donations. This new development reported by investigators in China puts a completely new twist to this already complicated story.

    This new finding sent shock waves through my own anatomy. I recalled that in my early career at an AIDS Hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital of Manhattan in New York City in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we had to deal with dangerous AIDS virus-laden blood specimens.

    In those days when we dealt with AIDS patients, we had had to put into practice universal sample precautions for blood samples whether or not they were derived from AIDS patients.

    This new development is especially of note since we are now having to deal with many presymptomatic and asymptomatic cases.

    I believe that all of our blood bank units both in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as elsewhere in the USA need to be made aware of this shocking new development and need to start screening our blood supplies. The significance of this new finding is that not only can an individual acquire a COVID-19 Infection as a droplet infection associated with airborne viral particles from the coughs, sneezes, and spray generated from speech, we con now also acquire the virus from blood contaminated with COVID-19 virions!

    Blood banks are already having to deal with the presence of tick related babesia protozoan parasites present inside of red blood cells in patient blood specimens in our tick-endemic region of Pennsylvania.

    With the coronavirus COVID-19, we are all on a learning curve, as Dr. Anthony Fauci has so often remarked.

    Dr. Robert-A. Ollar, Ph.d

    Dr. Robert-A. Ollar is clinical assistant professor of neurology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y., and a member of the COVID-19 Action Group of Pike County, Milford, Pa.