21 DAY WAIT PERIOD TO DONATE BLOOD FOR CANADIAN TRAVELLERS WHO VISIT ZIKA AFFECTED COUNTRIES

Feb 04, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Canadians who’ve travelled outside Canada, the continental U.S. and Europe won’t be able to give blood for three weeks after their return to this country.

Canadian Blood Services has put in place a 21-day waiting period, to take effect starting Friday February 5th, in an effort to mitigate the risk of the Zika virus entering the nation’s blood supply.

Canadian Blood Services says three weeks is enough time for the virus to be eliminated from a person’s bloodstream.

Meantime, at least nine cases of the Zika virus have turned up in the Miami-Dade area of Florida.

“The conditions in south Florida are probably ripe to at some point, I think, have Zika here, not just imported, but from here,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Ignacio Enchenique.

It’s believed that of the cases in Florida are from people who contracted the disease while travelling to affected countries in central and South America.

There’s no treatment for Zika. For most people, their bodies mount a normal immunity response and there are no symptoms. But the Zika virus has been flagged for it’s link to birth defects in Brazil.

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