Zika and Blood & Tissue Safety
What we know
- There have been no confirmed cases of Zika virus being spread by blood transfusion in the United States. However, cases of Zika virus transmission through platelet transfusions have been documented in Brazil.1,2
- In May 2021, in response to the global decline in the incidence of Zika virus, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the requirement for routine Zika virus screening of blood donations.
- Certain human cell and tissue-based products, such as umbilical cord blood, gestational tissues, and reproductive tissues, can harbor Zika virus even months after the initial infection.
- If you have been diagnosed with Zika virus in the last 4 months, let your blood center know you had a Zika virus infection. Blood donors must be healthy and well and in some people it might take up to 4 months to clear the virus from their blood. If you were diagnosed with Zika virus shortly after giving blood, you should tell your blood center.
- If you have been diagnosed with or possibly exposed to Zika virus within the past 6 months you should not donate cells or tissues, such as umbilical cord blood, placenta or other gestational tissues, or reproductive tissues (oocytes [eggs] or semen). FDA provides guidance for tissue establishments on who is eligible to donate these products.
CDC is working with our partners to learn more about Zika and blood and tissue safety
- AABB – Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies
- FDA – US Food and Drug Administration
- State and territorial health departments
- Blood collection centers
- Human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products industry
- Barjas-Castro ML, Angerami RN, Cunha MS, et al. Probable transfusion-transmitted Zika virus in Brazil. Transfusion 2016;56:1684–1688.
- Motta IJF, Spencer BR, Cordeiro da Silva SG, et al. Evidence for transmission of Zika virus by platelet transfusion. N Engl J Med 2016;375:11–13.
- Benjamin I, Fernandez G, Figueira JV, et al. Zika virus detected in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood in an in vitro fertilization-conceived pregnancy in Venezuela. Fertil Steril 2017;107:1319-22.
- GarcÍa-Bujalance S, Gutiérrez-Arroyo A, De la Calle F, et al. Persistence and infectivity of Zika virus in semen after returning from endemic areas: Report of 5 cases. J Clin Virol 2017;96:110-115.
- Paz-Bailey G, Rosenberg ES, Sharp TM. Persistence of Zika Virus in Body Fluids – Final Report. N Engl J Med 2019;380:198-199.