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If a person who is infected with coronavirus, but who does not have symptoms, donates blood, and a patient eventually receives blood from that person, is the patient at risk of infection, and also at risk of spreading the virus themselves?

To date, there has been no evidence of transfusion-based transmission of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2), nor of the related coronavirus SARS-CoV-1. The AABB says that “individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 through the blood donation process or via a blood transfusion, since respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmitted by donation or transfusion.”

Moreover, routine screening of blood donors prevents individuals with active clinical respiratory infections such as COVID-19, or even those who have knowingly contacted someone suspected of having COVID-19, from donating blood. However, the Red Cross is urging those who have fully recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19 to consider donating their plasma as well. This plasma could help treat people who are currently sick with COVID-19.

Updated 7 December 2020

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