Flu Affects Local Blood Donation

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The flu is keeping many of us home from work or school, and it's also preventing a lot of people from donating blood.
After the holiday season, blood donation centers usually see a decrease in donors. With the recent flu outbreak, workers at Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) say more residents are calling to cancel their appointments.

Although January is national blood donation month, during a blood drive at SwedishAmerican Hospital, only 7 residents registered to give blood, compared to 42 donors who registered for the last drive in August. The RRVBC usually sees about 60 donors a day. Workers say that’s slimming down since the flu outbreak. Since it’s a virus, you can’t catch it from donating blood, however Jennifer Bowman says a sick donor could still spread their germs.

“It's not necessarily that their blood products are bad, its just a requirement that you're feeling well and healthy because we don't want to, when you have the flu you're lacking energy, you're feeling worn down and donating blood might add to that for a couple of hours,” says Jennifer Bowman with the RRVBC.

Bowman suggests you wait until you're free of all flu symptoms for at least 24 hours before donating blood.

If you’re not sick and would like to donate, you can find a list of donor sites here.

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