Restrictions Related to International Travel & Immigration

Residency in certain countries or geographic regions or travel to those areas may make you ineligible to donate.

Zika

There is concern that the Zika virus may be transmitted by blood. The symptoms of Zika virus infection include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, muscle pain and headache.

  • You are deferred from donating for 4 weeks after you have resided in or traveled to an area with active Zika virus infection
  • You are deferred from donating for 120 days after:
  • The resolution of symptoms, if you had Zika virus infection
  • The resolution of any signs or symptoms of Zika virus infection that occurred within 2 weeks of departure from an area with active Zika virus infection
  • You had sexual contact with a person who was diagnosed with Zika virus infection within the 6 months prior to the sexual contact
  • You had sexual contact with a person who resided in or traveled to an area with active transmission of Zika virus in the 6 months prior to the sexual contact.

The areas with active Zika virus transmission are rapidly changing. Please, contact the donor room at 212-639-7648 if you have traveled recently to determine eligibility

Malaria

If you have been diagnosed with malaria or traveled to an area where malaria is prevalent, you may still donate blood if it has been:

More than three years since:

  • You last experienced symptoms of malaria.
  • You lived for five or more consecutive years in a country that has any area(s) considered to be at risk for malaria transmission

More than one year since:

  • You returned from any other area where malaria is prevalent and are free of malarial symptoms.

The website of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has areas of malaria risk listed by country

To prevent the possible transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) you may not donate blood if:

  • You spent three or more months cumulatively in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands) from 1980 through 1996.
  • You spent five years or more cumulatively in Europe (including the United Kingdom from 1980 through 1996) from 1980 to the present.
  • You received a blood transfusion in the United Kingdom or France since 1980.
  • You were a member of the US military from 1980 through 1996, a civilian military employee, or a dependent of a member of the US military and spent six months or more at a US military base in any of the following countries:
    • From 1980 to 1990: Belgium, the Netherlands, or Germany
    • From 1980 to 1996: Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, or Greece
  • You obtained and have been injected with any non-US licensed drug products made from cattle since 1980 (such as bovine insulin).

Further Information About Mad Cow Disease