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FDA loosens guidelines for blood donors during pandemic

Coronavirus

(CNN) — The Food and Drug Administration is changing donation guidelines effective immediately.

The changes should make it possible for more people to give blood.

The FDA is loosening guidelines put in place.

Until now, male donors would have been deferred to wait for a year after having sex with another man. Now there is only a three month waiting period.

The same shorter period applies to donors who have had tattoos or piercings. And for people who have traveled to countries where there is exposure to malaria, the waiting period has also been reduced.

Until now, people who spent time in European countries of military bases where there was a risk for Mad Cow Disease had to wait. Now, the waiting period for those potential blood donors has been eliminated.

The American Red Cross says they have imposed safety practices to protect donors when they give blood.

The FDA says coronavirus is a respiratory illness and it is not believed to be transmitted by blood.

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