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. These are very popular tourist spots amongst vacation-seekers all over the world, with many taking a private jet charter to and from their destinations to make the most of the time they do spend on holiday. With that being said, you should always take that added caution when it comes to traveling to countries that are known to be related to the Zika virus. 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. This could soon mean that extra precautions may need to be put into place to ensure that every person in the country can remain protected against such insects that can cause harm. For example, contacting pest control experts if you fear that you may have a mosquito problem within your house, or utilizing insect repellent at every opportunity you have are just some of the things that can be done to prevent the spread of Zika through mosquito bites.
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