E&E news reports:
A whole new set of ungovernable pathogens are being loosed on the world’s blood supplies. A warming climate has allowed blood-borne tropical diseases to flourish where once they were unheard of, and they’re getting around.
The state of blood supplies became worrisome after tennis star Arthur Ashe’s death from AIDS 20 years ago in 1993 — the result of an HIV-tainted transfusion administered during a routine heart bypass operation in the late 1980s.
Hospitals and blood banks now routinely screen potential donors for HIV and hepatitis in order to keep these diseases from accidentally finding their way into patients. But recent outbreaks of diseases such as West Nile fever, dengue fever and malaria — all carried by mosquitoes — have posed new problems for the health of European blood banks.