PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's time to donate and United Blood Services needs more donors.
"Blood usage has been up about 6 percent so far this year and on top of that, we are experiencing a heavy travel deferral due to Zika virus in our border towns," Sue Thew, of United Blood Services, said.
Sue Thew says they're part of a national effort to supply blood to Puerto Rico due to the Zika virus restricting its residents from donating.
The Zika virus spreads to people mostly through mosquitos and now is restricting even more people in the United States because of the travel deferral.
"Anyone who's traveled to Mexico, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Atlantic and Pacific Islands, as well as South or Central America, can not give blood for 28 days," Thew said.
Every day, UBS needs 500 blood donors just to fill their shelves and meet the need in Arizona, with O Negative being the highest in demand.
"The only way we can be sure that we can help is by making sure we have enough blood on the shelves to meet the need of patients right here first," Thew said.
So far, UBS has donated 1,500 units of blood to Puerto Rico and will continue doing so with your help.
"You never know when someone is going to find themselves needing a life-saving transfusion," Thew said. "Certainly, the news of this morning in Belgium is a prime example of your life can change without a moments notice."