VideosMedia Contacts

Ask the Doc

August 2014 • Published in The Daily Press, Ashland WI

Summer has a lot of names, one of those being “mosquito season.” This is the time of year when mosquitoes are biting, and infected mosquitos start transmitting West Nile Virus. Last year, there were 21 cases of West Nile Virus reported in Wisconsin.

The most effective way to prevent infection with West Nile Virus is to decrease your exposure to mosquito bites:

  • Limit your time outdoors at dawn and dusk
  • Cover up your toes, legs, arms and torso
  • Apply insect repellents to your exposed skin and your clothes
  • Reduce the sources of standing water around your home

Eighty percent of people infected with West Nile Virus do not develop symptoms. Blood centers across the US have been screening all donated blood for West Nile Virus since 2003. West Nile Virus testing is one of 13 tests that Memorial Blood Centers runs on every pint of donated blood, to ensure that every pint of blood received is safe to give to someone else.

If your blood tests positive for West Nile Virus, Memorial Blood Centers will contact you. Any donated blood with a positive test result is discarded and not used for transfusion.

Jed Gorlin, M.D. is Medical Director and Vice President, Medical and Quality Affairs for Memorial Blood Centers. Elizabeth Perry, M.D. is Associate Medical Director for Memorial Blood Centers.

Send us your questions. Call us today 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253) to schedule an appointment, or to find out more about Memorial Blood Centers and how we partner with the Ashland community to save lives. You also can visit us online or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.