PHOENIX, Feb. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As an industry leader in providing families and individuals with quality donations and adhering to the highest sperm donor compliance, Seattle Sperm Bank (SSB), d.b.a Phoenix Sperm Bank, has taken steps to proactively prevent samples infected with the Zika virus from getting into the supply of donor sperm.
On February 2, 2016, the same day a New York Times article was released regarding the risks of passing the Zika virus through sexual transmission, SSB immediately improved its screening process to defer any donors with risk factors associated with contracting or transferring the virus. Any donors who indicate travel, or sex with someone who has traveled, to the risk associated countries are being deferred for 1 month.
These steps were taken without any mandate from the government, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or any other health agency. Rather, they were taken at the direction of our Medical Director, Dr. Jeffrey Olliffe M.D., to be consistent with our mission to safeguard our recipients and their future children.
Our Phoenix Sperm Bank Tissue Bank Director, Grace Centola, Ph.D., states that, "Our intent is to take every measure possible to safeguard the health of offspring of donor sperm using screening tools currently available. It has been recommended that blood donors defer for 28 days. We are going beyond that restriction to 30 days from return to the US following travel to the high risk countries."
Even before news reports of the rapid spread of the Zika virus in Brazil were published, SSB was already screening potential sperm donors about diseases such as Zika through its regular process. This includes asking donors about their travel and sexual history, specifically with regards to the countries at highest risk of outbreaks of the Zika virus or similar infectious diseases.
The Zika virus is mainly spread through infected mosquitos. Once the virus is contracted, it can also be passed by sexual contact through semen. Thus far in 2016, one confirmed case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sex was recently discovered in Texas.
Recent research also suggests the virus can last longer in semen than previously thought. The Zika virus is especially dangerous to pregnant women – and women seeking to conceive – because it has been linked to birth defects in infants, including microcephaly.
About Seattle Sperm Bank
Seattle Sperm Bank was established to provide families and individuals with donor choices. Our scientific approach with a human touch will ensure that you get a product of the highest quality. Our screening reaches much further than a simple sperm analysis and includes a rigorous and through process. Our donor catalog consists of a wide range of American open ID and anonymous donors.
Donor screening and selection is a primary concern. Seattle Sperm Bank uses industry-leading human tissue screening procedures. We adhere strictly to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidance and all state regulations regarding sperm banking.
We also use industry-leading human tissue screening procedures to detect HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and spinal muscular atrophy as well as other tests. Just as important, our extensive genetic screening and medical history review of the donors' matches the highest standard of any sperm bank in the U.S.
SOURCE Phoenix Sperm Bank