Zika outbreak: NHS bans blood donations for 28 days after travel

The Telegraph | Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

Blood donors cannot give blood for a month if they have been to zika infected countries Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville

The NHS has banned travellers from giving blood for 28 days after they have returned from zika infected countries over fears that the disease could be passed on.

Doctors have also been warned not to transplant organs from people who travelled recently to countries if they have shown any symptoms. There is now a ban on using the organs of living donors who have tested positively for zika, or those who died while infected with the virus.

Families will be asked by health workers if dead relatives have been to affected areas, or were bitten by mosquitoes before their death.

"There are reports of possible Zika virus transmission by blood transfusion and it is probably that infection may also be transmitted by organ transplantation"

Around 80 per cent of zika infections are asymptomatic so people could be carrying the virus without realising.

A spokesman for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are putting a deferral on people donating blood for 28 days after they have been to a zika infected countries. Continue reading