Reports linking the Zika virus to an increasing list of diseases has the authorities searching for a solution to secure both the supply of plasma-derived products as well as the blood supply.

Currently, plasma products undergo a virus removal process step to eliminate this as a problem, but the options are not available for use with blood and blood components that are used for transfusion.

One of the more successful options now available is a solvent/detergent treated pooled product called OctaplusTM.

The plasma Protein Therapeutic Association believes this removal of Zika (flavivirus) is not such a big issue and maintains that the industry is experienced enough to eliminate this from the plasma pool if an infected batch was discovered.

So what of blood and blood components intended for human use? Currently the strategy is one of containment of the mosquito population until a vaccine is approved. With this at least 18 months away, are we vulnerable to a pandemic outbreak of new transmitted diseases?