Within Canadian Blood Services, Dr. Fearon participates in practical projects focused primarily on the impact of emerging infectious diseases on the blood supply. Dr. Fearon’s expertise is particularly valuable to the National Testing Lab, the Donor Testing Labs and the Canadian Blood Services’ Medical Directors. Dr. Fearon also participates in collaborations with external groups including public health, the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network, the National Microbiology Lab (NML) in Winnipeg, and other blood operators such as Hema Quebec and the American Red Cross. She also led the development of a Health Canada approved protocol for the collection of Ebola convalescent plasma which could be used to treat Ebola victims in Canada
Led by Dr. Fearon, Dr. Mindy Goldman and Dr. Sheila O’Brien, Canadian Blood Services carries out comprehensive surveillance of bloodborne pathogens to monitor changing trends in known infections, identify new infectious diseases and develop policies appropriately. These data are published in an annual report that presents prevalence rates of tested pathogens, estimated residual risks of tested viruses and highlights risk associated with known and emerging pathogens. Canadian Blood Services also researches the prevalence rates of certain viruses in Canadian donors to inform policy development. Dr. Fearon is involved in seroprevalence studies on the emerging pathogens Babesia microti and Hepatitis E. She is currently collaborating with Hema Quebec and the American Red Cross to set up the largest North American HEV prevalence study ever performed in blood donors.