Tracking the Zika Virus Transmission
Category: Content Development
Tracking the Zika Virus Transmission is an ongoing blog post series following the progress of the Zika virus outbreak and its effects on prenatal and postnatal care, family planning, and the donor breastmilk industry. When the Zika virus began, epidemiologists weren’t sure if Zika could pass through bodily fluids. NICUs and donor milk banks around the world began to question whether the virus could be spread through breastmilk, especially donated breastmilk. Donor milk is a heavily regulated commodity. Milk donors are tested for bloodborne diseases before their milk is collected. Their milk is then pooled and sent through a pasteurization process, which removes bacterial and impurities. This pasteurized milk can still be traced back to the original donor in case the donor is retested and found to be a Zika carrier. The donor milk is fed to premature babies whose mothers cannot produce breastmilk of their own. While the entire donor process is proven safe, many consumers and hospitals are still worried that Zika can spread. This series was commissioned in order to begin exploring these questions and attempt to find answers for a niche industry. You can see the original blog entries here.