WFH NETWORK

WFH communique - Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak

An outbreak of the blood-borne disease Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF, also called Ebola virus disease or EVD) is ongoing in several African countries. The outbreak has been categorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a serious public health emergency. Infected persons often die soon after being exposed to the virus. The ability of the outbreak to compromise the safety of clotting factor concentrates is very unlikely due to the following facts:

  • The abrupt onset of symptoms following infection makes it unlikely that infected patients would donate blood or plasma.
  • Blood donors who had visited the affected regions would already be temporarily geographically excluded because of malaria.
  • There has been no known case of transfusion transmission of Ebola HF.
  • Ebola HF is an enveloped virus.
  • Multiple pathogen reduction steps used in the fractionation process have been shown to be robust in removal of enveloped viruses.

Based on these facts there appears to be no specific risk for people with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders from the current Ebola HF outbreak. The WFH will continue to monitor the situation.

Up to date information on the outbreak and the disease can be found at:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Monitoring Blood Safety 
Ebola Update

AABB:
Joint Statement Regarding Ebola and the Safety of the Blood Supply

Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA):
Ebola Virus and Plasma Protein Therapies

World Health Organization:
Bolstering UN support to the Ebola outbreak 

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC):
Ebola and Marburg fevers


Updated November 2014