NHSBT response to the Zika virus

3 February 2016

There is a lot of media interest in the UK about the Zika virus. NHS Blood and Transplant is implementing precautionary measures around blood donation.

A spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant said: "The safety of the blood supply is paramount and it is important we implement any precautionary blood safety measures agreed here as a result of an increasing prevalence of infectious diseases found around the globe.

“From 4th February 2016, we will have a 28 day blood donation deferral for people looking to donate blood in England and North Wales who have travelled to countries where the Zika virus is endemic.

“Travel to most of these countries already brings a blood donation deferral of at least 28 days. A 28 day deferral for travel to areas with a tropical virus risk and a 6 month deferral for travel to malarial areas exists. As a result we do not expect the introduction of a Zika donation deferral to significantly impact upon the number of people who can donate following travel abroad."

If you want to know whether any recent foreign travel temporarily bars you from giving blood, please call our National Contact Centre on 0300 123 23 23.