• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

WHO advises against blood donations from people returning from Zika areas

February 4, 2016

GENEVA, Switzerland — The World Health Organization on Thursday advised countries against accepting blood donations from people who have travelled to regions affected by the Zika virus.

“With the risk of incidence of new infections of Zika virus in many countries, and the potential linkage of the Zika virus infection with microcephaly and other clinical consequence, it is estimated as an appropriate precautionary measure to defer donors who return from areas with Zika virus outbreak,” the WHO told AFP in a statement.

Canada and Britain have already moved to protect their blood supplies.

Canadian blood agencies earlier Wednesday announced that anyone who had travelled to a Zika-risk area will be ineligible to give blood for three weeks upon their return.

The 21-day waiting period also applies to cord blood and stem cell donors who have travelled to Zika-affected areas.

In Britain, the National Health Service Blood and Transplant agency has said that from Thursday, anyone returning from Zika-affected countries will be made to wait 28 days before being allowed to donate blood, as a “precautionary measure.”

“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,” a spokeswoman said.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has spread to 26 countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean. It holds little danger for most people but has been linked to a surge in cases of microcephaly, a condition which causes babies to develop abnormally small heads, leading to permanent disability or death.

Zika symptoms resemble those of a mild case of flu — headache, muscle and joint pain, mild fever, and a rash. In 70 to 80 percent of cases, the disease goes unnoticed.

See also: Costa Rica’s inclusion in Zika travel warning has tourism leaders worried

You may be interested

Hundreds flee Venezuela each day despite border closures
Latin America
4188 views
Latin America
4188 views

Hundreds flee Venezuela each day despite border closures

Alina DIESTE / AFP - July 30, 2021

Between 700 and 900 people flee Venezuela daily despite the closure of the South American country's borders due to the…

US, Mexico seek wins to book rematch in Gold Cup final
Costa Rica
261 views
Costa Rica
261 views

US, Mexico seek wins to book rematch in Gold Cup final

AFP - July 29, 2021

Defending champion Mexico and host United States will attempt to advance to the Gold Cup football finals with triumphs in…

Costa Rica receives 480,000 more vaccines today
Costa Rica
79 views
Costa Rica
79 views

Costa Rica receives 480,000 more vaccines today

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 29, 2021

Costa Rica on Thursday will receive 482,610 more Covid-19 vaccines that were purchased from pharmaceutical companies, authorities said. At 4:30…

The Tico Times | Top Costa Rica News, Travel, Culture and Sports