Travel FAQs - Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Travel FAQs

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Travel to foreign countries may temporarily prevent you from donating blood. See our list of countries for more information about infection risks.  

To help you learn more about giving blood you can also take our eligibility quiz.

If you have any further queries about your eligibility to donate please call our low-call number on 1850 731 137.

Travel to foreign countries may temporarily prevent you from donating blood. See our list of countries for more information about infection risks.  

To help you learn more about giving blood you can also take our eligibility quiz.

If you have any further queries about your eligibility to donate please call our low-call number on 1850 731 137.

You cannot give blood if you ever had Chagas disease even if you are fully recovered.

You cannot give blood if you stayed or worked in a rural subsistence farming community in South America, Central America or Southern Mexico for a continuous period of 4 weeks or more.  (NB: rainforests are not considered to be rural subsistence farming communities)

You cannot give blood if you or your mother was born in a Chagas risk area; this includes South America, Central America and Southern Mexico.

See list of countries for Chagas risk areas.

You must wait 28 days from the day you leave a county or area affected by Chik V.

You must wait for 6 months if you were diagnosed with Chik V or had symptoms suggestive of it

The most common symptoms of Chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

Chik V can be transmitted by blood transfusions.

See list of countries for Chik V risk areas

You must wait 28 days from the day you leave a county or area affected by Dengue Fever.

You must wait for 6 months if you were diagnosed with Dengue Fever or had symptoms suggestive of it.

The most common symptoms are sudden high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, skin rash which appears two to five days after the onset of fever, mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums or easy bruising).

See list of countries for Dengue risk areas

If the country you visited is not listed please contact the IBTS on for further information as countries where Dengue only affects certain parts are not listed here.

Travelling, particularly by plane, can be dehydrating and this may increase the risk of developing a thrombosis.

You must wait for 48 hours before and after a long haul flight (i.e. a flight that will last at least 5 hours).

You must wait for 2 weeks prior to travel if you are likely to be exercising in conditions where the amount of oxygen available is low (e.g. at high altitude).

You must wait 12 months from the day you leave a country or area affected by Malaria.

You cannot give blood if you ever had malaria even if you are fully recovered donor for 365.

See list of countries for Malaria risk areas.

If the country you visited is not on the list please contact the IBTS for further information as countries where Malaria only affects certain parts are not listed here.

You must wait 28 days from the day you leave a country or area affected by MERS-CoV.

You must contact the IBTS if you were diagnosed with MERS-CoV or had symptoms suggestive of it.

The main clinical symptoms are fever and respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) which may lead to viral pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome.

A stopover is defined as being outside the airport, even briefly. (e.g. to smoke).

Walking from the aeroplane to the terminal building on tarmac is a stopover.

Walking from the aeroplane to the terminal via closed walkway is not a stopover.

Contact the IBTS if you have questions.

If your sunburn is causing pain or you require medication (painkillers) do not donate until it has resolved.

You must wait 90 days from the day you leave a county or area between the tropic of cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn

See list of countries for Tropical risk areas

VACCINE

DEFERRAL TIME

Anthrax

48 hours if well

BCG

8 weeks and until area is healed

Botulism

48 hours if well

Cholera

48 hours if well

Diphtheria

48 hours if well

Gardisil (Cervical Cancer Vaccine)

48 hours if well

 

Influenza (Flu)

48 hours if well

Hepatitis A

48 hours if well and if no exposure

Hepatitis B

4 WEEKS

4 months if vaccine was received post exposure, e.g. human bite, blood splash or needlestick injury

HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

48 hours if well

Japanese Encephalitis

48 hours if well

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

8 WEEKS

 

Pneumococcal

48 hours if well

Polio

8 weeks

Rabies

48 hours

1 year if post exposure i.e. animal bite

Rubella

8 weeks

Smallpox

8 weeks

Tetanus

48 hours if well

Tick-borne Encephalitis

48 hours if well

Post exposure: REFER

Tuberculin (TB)

Await test results

Typhoid (oral)

8 weeks

Typhoid (injection)

48 hours if well

Varicella (Chickenpox)

8 weeks

Yellow Fever

8 weeks

WEST NILE VIRUS RISK IS FROM 01 MAY TO 30 NOVEMBER IN WHOLE COUNTRY - UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE IN COUNTRY LIST

You must wait 28 days from the day you leave a county or area affected by West Nile Virus

You must wait for 6 months if you were diagnosed with West Nile Virus or had symptoms suggestive of it

Symptoms include malaise, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, headache, myalgia, rash, lymphadenopathy and eye pain.

The IBTS tests blood donations for WNV during the most at risk seasons each year. While we are testing, you may be eligible to donate. Please contact us on our Donor Infoline 1850 731 137 for advice. 

See list of countries for WNV risk areas.

You must wait 28 days from the day you leave a county or area affected by Zika virus

There may be other risks e.g. Tropical           

You must wait for 6 months if you were diagnosed with Zika virus or had symptoms suggestive of it

Symptoms include: mild fever, muscle or joint pains, headache, itchy rash and conjunctivitis (sore eye).

There is also a risk related to sexual activity with a person diagnosed with or with symptoms suggestive of Zika Virus. Please contact the IBTS if you have any concerns

See list of countries for Zika risk areas