Increased and rapid travel of the population may lead to asymptomatic people donating infectious blood. A clear and detailed travel history must be obtained from all donors to minimise the risk of transmission of malaria, Trypanosoma cruzi and emerging diseases such as West Nile Virus and Chikungunya virus.
The latest JPAC Donor Selection Guidelines1 should be consulted for any donor with a relevant travel history.
The Blood Services and JPAC maintain close links with the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) and base the donor deferral criteria on the advice obtained. Any changes to current selection guidelines need to be rapidly communicated and this will happen through change notifications and the website www.transfusionguidelines.org.uk