Zika virus, travel, flu prompts Canadian Blood Services appeal

Canadian Blood Services is appealing to Canadians to donate blood before heading down south.

Donors ineligible to give blood for 21 days after travel outside of Canada, parts of U.S., Europe

Canadian Blood Services is asking blood donors to give before leaving on holiday. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

Canadian Blood Services is appealing to Canadians to donate blood before heading down south and to rebook cancelled appointments.

The organization reminds Canadians travelling to tropical locales that there are new donation rules in place to protect the blood supply from Zika virus, rules that are further reducing the number of eligible donors. 

Those who have travelled to areas outside Canada, continental United States and Europe are ineligible to give blood for 21 days after their return to "mitigate the risk of the Zika virus entering the blood supply," Canadian Blood Services said in a news release.

However, the organization encourages donors to rebook an appointment after their ineligibility period has ended.

"Donated blood is needed to save lives every day. During the travel season, we count on donors to ensure an ample and safe supply of blood and blood products for those in need," Peter MacDonald, director donor relations Atlantic, said in the news release. 

The organization said this can be a difficult time of year to "maintain a strong blood supply for all Canadians," due to travel, increased rates of flu and extreme weather conditions.

"People with the flu are also asked to please re-book as soon as they can."

For more information on how you can donate, visit blood.ca or download the GiveBlood app.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.