Zika no threat to plasma-derived drugs, says EU regulator

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Patients who take medicines derived from blood plasma or urine are not at increased risk of catching Zika, even if the body fluids come from countries where the virus is prevalent, Europe's drugs regulator said on Wednesday.

Plasma-derived products are used to treat some serious blood conditions and to help fight infections, while urine-based medicines include certain hormone treatments and therapies to help break up blood clots.

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The European Medicines Agency, Europe's equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said its experts had assessed the risks and concluded that manufacturing processes used for such products would inactivate or remove the Zika virus.

This includes the use of solvents or detergents, pasteurization and filtration.

Health authorities are currently taking extra care with whole blood donations. Last month, the FDA recommended that all blood donations be tested for Zika in a drive to prevent transmission of the virus through the blood supply.