Health Ministry says no syphilis in rechecked blood

Health Ministry says no syphilis in rechecked blood

6,300 pints of blood retested after European manufacturer of test kits said they may be faulty

The Health Ministry rechecked more than 6,300 blood donations for syphilis after fears were raised that the original test kits were faulty, but found no signs of the disease.

The ministry said in a statement on Thursday that it had rechecked the suspect blood with a different test kit and found no problems. “All the results are correct and prove the safety of the (blood) donations,” the statement said.

The ministry ordered a retest of the blood in early October after the European manufacturer of the syphilis test kits informed them that there was a problem with the sensitivity of the kits, which had failed to detect the syphilis virus in two instances of people who were recently infected with the sexually transmitted disease.

At the time, the ministry said chances of regular transfusion recipients getting the disease were minuscule, but said there was a small risk for patients who received a platelet transfusion.

Nevertheless, it ordered a retest of all the suspect samples.

The Health Ministry routinely checks blood donations for diseases that can be transmitted through blood, like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and syphilis.

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