Guidance

Emerging infections: horizon scanning

The NHSBT/PHE epidemiology unit scans publications for emerging infection news relevant to blood, tissue and organ donation safety in the UK.

The joint NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) / PHE epidemiology unit scans various sources using a formal horizon scanning system, for emerging infection news that may be of relevance to patient safety or blood and tissue availability. Of particular interest are updates on:

  • chikungunya
  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
  • dengue
  • malaria
  • pandemic and avian influenza
  • tick-borne encephalitis
  • West Nile virus

Sources include:

Relevant items are collated into a monthly listing for the Chair of the UK Standing Advisory Committee on Transfusion Transmitted Infection (SACTTI). The chair of SACTTI receives early warning communications or other reports deemed urgent as they arise.

These monthly listings, alongside other sources of information are reviewed by SACTTI and may lead to further risk assessment and changes to the donor selection guidelines, or other blood safety measures, where necessary.

See the JPAC position statement on emerging infections (link to PDF)

Contact epidemiology@nhsbt.nhs.uk for further information.

Published 19 February 2010