The Food and Drug Administration is adding more travel restrictions to blood donors thanks to the spread of the Zika virus. Beginning Monday, August 1st, people who have traveled to Broward and/or Miami-Dade County, Florida in the past 28 days will be unable to donate blood. The new restrictions are mandated by the FDA on all U.S. blood centers. In May, the FDA prohibited those who had visited more than two dozen countries from donating blood for at least four weeks from their return. These countries were chiefly located throughout the Caribbean and Northern, Central, and South America. The new locations in Florida – the first in the U.S. – were added after laboratory tests confirmed local transmission of the virus through infected mosquitos. Several states, including Tennessee have had Zika diagnoses in recent weeks, but those were related to travel or sexual transmission. The infections in Florida are the first time Zika is known to have been spread through a mosquito bite within the U.S. Donors who have concerns about whether they are eligible to donate can call 865-524-3074 For more about Zika risk, travel areas of concern, or other resources go to http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html
New travel restrictions are going into effect for blood donors who have recently traveled to areas where the Zika virus is spreading. Anyone who has traveled to Mexico, the Caribbean, and/or Central or South America in the last 28 days, is being asked not to donate blood. Donors are asked to return to donate if they are feeling healthy and have not been in one of the affected areas for at least 28 days. Zika virus infection is mild in most people, but there is concern that Zika is causing serious brain injury to infants whose mothers have been infected during pregnancy. Zika can be present in the blood of an infected person who has no symptoms of illness. Donors who have questions about their eligibility can call 865-524-3074. Visit the CDC website, for more information on the Zika Virus.