To prevent spread of Zika virus, local blood centers limit who can donate

Feb 8, 2016

 As the country is working on a plan to combat the Zika virus, a local blood provider is putting restrictions on who can donate.

Countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

United Blood Services is asking those who've recently traveled to areas where the virus is spreading to postpone giving blood. Areas include Mexico, Central or South America, and a number of tropical islands.

Sergio Coppa is with United Blood Services and said they are receiving guidance from the FDA and the CDC on how to handle the Zika outbreak.

"Right now there isn't a test to actually screen blood donors for the Zika virus. So that's why we're asking those individuals that have been to those locations to not donate for 28 days," said Coppa. "That post travel waiting period may cut our blood supply by about 2 percent. "

He said because of the potential dip in blood donations, he's hoping those who are healthy will step forward to donate in the meantime.