The Zika virus is affecting more than the world’s health. It’s now going after our economy…or rather Puerto Rico’s. Officials have added another warning to the already long list of what one can and can’t do because of the Zika virus. The FDA recently recommended that people who have traveled to Zika infected areas should wait at least four weeks before donating blood. While this won’t have a hug impact on people in the U.S., it could have dire consequences for our neighboring territories.
Puerto Rico had to recently bar its citizens from donating blood due to the danger of transmitting the Zika virus through infected blood. This means they now have to import all of their blood from the U.S. The change looks like it could create quite a financial problem for Puerto Rico. Experts from Puerto Rico’s largest blood bank estimate that importing blood will end up costing around $100,000 a week. Officials fear that the blood banks do not have the money to afford the imports, meaning they will have to lay off hundreds of employees to make up the cash. This is a serious blow to a country where 45 percent of the citizens already live below the poverty line.
What kind of impact do you think this problem will have on the Puerto Rican economy and the lives of the working class?