Zika Virus - Irish Blood Transfusion Service

Zika Virus

Zika Virus is a virus that is spread through the bite of mosquitoes that are found in certain

countries. Currently, outbreaks of Zika are occurring in South and Central America, the

Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, Asia and in Florida.

Infection with Zika Virus can cause a mild illness that typically lasts between 2 and 7 days.

Symptoms include: mild fever, muscle or joint pains, headache, itchy rash and conjunctivitis

(sore eye). The time between being bitten by a mosquito and developing symptoms is

usually 3 to 12 days. However, 80% of people who become infected with the Zika Virus have

no symptoms. Infection with the virus can cause a serious birth condition called

microcephaly, where a baby is born with an unusually small head.

Zika Virus is spread when an infected mosquito bites a person. It can also be spread from a

mother to her baby during pregnancy, from an infected person to their sexual partner during

sex and by blood transfusions.

information from all donors:

  • Have you been to a country that is at risk of Zika Virus? If you have, you cannot donate for 28 days after you left the country.
  • Were you diagnosed with Zika Virus Infection? If you were, you cannot donate for 6 months after you are fully recovered.
  • Were you unwell when you were in a country that is at risk of Zika Virus or since you returned home? If you had symptoms of Zika Virus Infection during your visit to an at-risk country or since you returned home you cannot donate for 6 months after you are fully recovered, even if you did not seek medical advice.
  • In the last 4 weeks, have you had sex with a person who has or had Zika Virus Infection? If you have had sex in the last 28 days, with a person who has Zika Virus Infection at present or who had it in the last 6 months you cannot donate blood today.
  • In the last 4 weeks, have you had sex with a person who has or had symptoms of Zika Virus Infection?If you have had sex in the last 28 days, with a person who has symptoms of Zika Virus Infection at present or who had symptoms in the last 6 months you cannot donate blood today.