Dr. Richard Benjamin: July 25, 2016

THE ZIKA VIRUS:
PROTECTING OUR BLOOD SUPPLY

Important Zika Virus Guidelines During the Busy Travel Season

Dr-Richard-Benjamin

 

Richard J. Benjamin MBChB, PhD, FRCPath

 

The Zika virus is a hot topic in the news this summer, but how much do your viewers actually know about this mosquito-transmitted infection and how it can spread during this popular travel time?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported dozens of suspected cases of Zika virus in the United States.

The outbreak of this virus means it’s more important than ever to protect our blood supply. The Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) has guidelines for blood banks in an effort to prevent the contamination of the nation’s blood supply with the virus. In areas where local Zika transmissions are occurring, the FDA calls for the use of a new technology, known as pathogen reduction, to reduce the risk of patients receiving blood infected with Zika. Our experts will tell your viewers what this is and how it could help protect the U.S. blood supply.

Richard Benjamin, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Cerus Corporation is available for an interview to discuss the INTERCEPT Blood System, the only F.D.A.-approved pathogen-reduction device for plasma and platelets. INTERCEPT is approved to reduce the risk of a variety of pathogens – from West Nile and HIV to dengue and chikungunya – from infecting patients through blood transfusions.

More About Richard J. Benjamin MBChB, PhD, FRCPath; Chief Medical Officer of Cerus Corporation Dr. Benjamin was appointed as Chief Medical Officer of Cerus Corporation in July 2015. Previously, he served as CMO for the American Red Cross where he oversaw donor and patient safety issues for 40% of the US blood supply. Prior to Red Cross, he served as medical director at the Adult Transfusion Service at the Joint Program in Transfusion Medicine at Harvard University. Dr. Benjamin is a Board Member and Regional Director for North America for the International Society of Blood Transfusion, as well as an active member of the American Association of Blood Banks. He has also served on the DHHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability in the U.S. Dr. Benjamin is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pathology at Georgetown University and author of >100 peer-reviewed publications. He received his Ph.D. at Cambridge University, England in Immunology and completed post-doctoral research at Stanford University, CA.

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