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