The donor had symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, including body aches and a sore throat, in early March 2020, according to the case study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. The individual was never officially tested for COVID-19. The sample was collected on April 23, when the donor was feeling 100% healthy.
“The confirmation of donor RNAemia more than one month after symptom resolution is concerning in light of current guidelines, which do not recommend SARS-CoV-2 screening in the general allogeneic donor population,” wrote lead author Tho D. Pham, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues. “In this case, plasma viral RNA was reproducibly detected at a time point that exceeded recommendations for deferral based on time since symptom resolution (14 days).”
“This case should be taken into consideration as blood donation policies are being crafted, particularly as infections increase with the relaxation of shelter-in-place orders worldwide,” the authors wrote.