South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Offers Zika Virus-related Suggestions for Spring Break, Launches Web Page to Track Zika Information

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South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is asking people not to not bring the Zika virus back from Spring Break vacations, and it also has launched a web page called the Zika Update, a daily digest of news coverage from around the world.

Zika Update page header

Zika Update

“The best way to avoid the Zika virus is to avoid mosquito bites,” said Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, associate medical director for BioBridge Global.

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) wants its donors, supporters and the community at large to be informed about the Zika virus.

With that in mind, the center – which serves 43 counties across South Texas – is offering some tips for the upcoming Spring Break holiday, as well as the latest in media and regulatory reports about the virus.

Spring Break
Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that donors wait 28 days after returning from areas where the Zika virus is actively transmitted to donate blood, STBTC is asking for donations before vacations to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and/or most of South America.

If travelers do go to areas where mosquitoes are known to spread viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommendations:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Treat clothes with a repellent that has permethrin as the active ingredient
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or window screens
  • Use an insect repellent with citronella, DEET or IR3535 as an active ingredient on exposed skin

“The best way to avoid the Zika virus is to avoid mosquito bites,” said Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, associate medical director for BioBridge Global, the parent company of STBTC, GenCure and QualTex Laboratories. “A little bit of preparation can go a long way to protecting your health.”

Zika Update
To help educate and inform the public about the Zika virus and its effects, BioBridge Global has established a one-of-a-kind web page dedicated to providing up-to-date information. The Zika Update, found at BioBridgeGlobal.org/Zika, features:

  • A digest of news coverage from around the world, including translations of Spanish-language coverage not found in English-language media
  • Links to complete versions of text and/or video reports
  • Updates on a daily basis and a five-day archive
  • An outline of how BioBridge Global subsidiaries are responding to the Zika outbreak
  • Links to state, national and international organizations involved with researching, tracking and providing information about the virus

“We knew it was important for us to track all the issues related to the Zika virus,” said Lind Myers, CEO of BioBridge Global. “Sharing that information was just a logical step, a way for us to provide up-to-date information to donors, our business partners and the media.”

About BioBridge Global: BioBridge Global (BBG) is a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit corporation that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood and human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is rooted in the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, which has a proud history of serving the South Texas region and beyond for more than 40 years. BBG is committed to supporting groundbreaking research, addressing unmet clinical needs and enabling the development and commercialization of novel biotechnology products. For more information, visit BioBridgeGlobal.org.

About QualTex Laboratories: QualTex Laboratories is a nonprofit affiliate of BioBridge Global that provides biologic testing services on whole blood, plasma and human cells, tissue, and cellular- and tissue-based products (HCT/P) for its global biotechnology and biopharmaceutical customers. It is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit testing laboratories and has locations in Texas and Georgia. For more information, visit QualTexLabs.org.

About the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center: The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is a nonprofit community blood center providing blood, plasma, platelets and other blood components to hospitals across 43 South Texas counties. STBTC has seven donor rooms in South Texas and conducts more than 2,000 mobile blood drives every year. For more information, visit SouthTexasBlood.org.

About GenCure: A Texas nonprofit corporation, GenCure focuses on regenerative medicine and uses the power of human cells and tissues to inspire hope, enhance lives and enable clinical advancements. Using processed tissue and cell-based therapies, GenCure works to connect health care requirements with innovative solutions that best serve the needs of the global patient community. For more information, visit GenCure.org.

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