Zika Virus

MAY 12, 2021 — Today, the FDA withdrew its 2018 guidance on ZIKV (Zika Virus) and, based on recent epidemiological data, has determined it is no longer necessary to test all blood donations for ZIKV. We are grateful that the FDA has evaluated and made the appropriate changes to this policy. Please note that, while we are not able to implement this change immediately, we are working to adapt our policies and procedures as soon as logistically possible. Check back here toward the end of summer for updates

Stanford Blood Center screens blood collections for Zika virus. However, if you have been diagnosed with having a Zika virus infection within the last 120 days (~4 months), please call our Post Donation Callback line at 650-725-9968 and someone will contact you to discuss your eligibility to donate. Please call this number immediately if you are diagnosed with Zika after donating blood so we can determine the impact to your previous donations.


Zika Virus Update

Zika Virus Overview

Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes genus mosquito. Approximately 80% of people with Zika infection have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. However, Zika virus infection may cause neurological conditions such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes temporary muscle weakness and paralysis, and infection during pregnancy may cause severe fetal abnormalities, including microcephaly.

A frequently updated page on the Zika virus can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

For information specific to California, visit: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Zika.aspx#


Zika Virus Transmission

Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus). These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. These mosquitoes have been detected in several California counties, but an Aedes mosquito can only transmit Zika virus after it bites a person who already has this virus in their blood. Mosquito-acquired transmission of Zika has been reported in the continental U.S. in parts of Florida and Texas.

A mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth, but this is rare. A mother can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. To date, there are no reports of infants contracting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Zika virus can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her partner. In addition, transmission of Zika virus through blood transfusion has been reported in Brazil.


Last updated 12/3/18