SARS not affecting blood donations

The American Red Cross says Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has not caused problems with blood collection.

Triangle Chapter spokeswoman Jennifer Van Grundy says the epidemic will not cause people to draw back from donating blood.

Van Grundy says the Red Cross is working with the American Association of Blood Banks and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure it can identify and monitor any potential threat of SARS.

Van Grundy says as part of their regular screening, the Red Cross already asks people if they've been ill or if they've had any flu-like symptoms, which could indicate the presence of SARS.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)