Study finds little bang for the buck in Zika blood testing

NEW YORK — A new study finds that screening blood donations for the Zika virus netted only a few infections at a cost of more than $5 million for each positive test result.

The study was the first large look at the impact of U.S. guidelines set two years ago, when the Zika epidemic was an unfolding menace.

The study was published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine. It found that the blood donation testing requirements offered little bang for the buck. And it raised questions about whether a cheaper testing method should be used.

In more than 4 million blood donations checked, nine tested positive for the Zika virus. Of those, three were considered an infection threat.

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