From Sunday 4 September, when you next come to give blood, we will include a new question on your donor health check: In the last 28 days have you had sex with anyone who has had Zika virus?
Why are we asking this question?
You may have heard of a recent outbreak of Zika virus in South and Central America, but Zika is also found in other tropical regions across the world. Zika virus is a tropical infection usually spread by mosquitoes that are not found in the UK.
But we also know, in a very few cases, that the virus is spread through sexual contact. This means that someone who has had Zika infection could pass the virus onto their partner through sexual contact.
Why are we introducing this question?
We hope that adding this question will keep blood as safe as possible for patients in Scotland. Zika virus can be passed on by blood transfusion. Zika infection is very serious for pregnant women as it may cause birth defects – in particular, babies born with abnormally small heads (microcephaly).
If your recent sexual partner has been diagnosed with Zika virus within the last six months, our staff will advise you when you can donate again.
If you think you may be affected by this new rule, call us on 0345 90 90 999 before coming to donate to avoid a wasted journey. Thank you and we look forward to welcoming you.