Malaria, Trypanosoma Cruzi (Chagas disease) and Tropical Arbovirus

Malaria and Tropical Arbovirus infections (which include Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika), are mosquito-borne infections which can be transmitted by blood transfusion. Trypanosoma Cruzi (Chagas' disease) is an insect-borne infection found in poor quality housing in some South and Central American countries.

When can I donate?

  • If you were travelled independently outside of the main cities and tourist areas or worked in subsistence farming communities for continuous period of 4 weeks or more during your time in the country, you must wait 6 months after leaving the country before you donate whole blood so that we can test you blood for the infection. If the test is negative, all of your donation can be used for patients.
  • It can take up to 6 months before evidence of the infection is detectable in our tests.
  • If you were born, or had a blood transfusion in a country with this risk, we can’t accept whole blood donations unless we have tested your blood for evidence of the infection. This will be performed at the time of your first donation.
  • If you have been diagnosed with Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) you must wait 12 months before donating.
  • There may still be a risk of malaria infection so that a malaria antibody test will be done when you return to donate. If the test is negative, you will be able to continue to donate whole blood. If the test is positive, you will be notified with a letter and while you will no longer be able to donate whole blood, you will still be eligible to donate plasma by apheresis.
  • Please contact us on 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) to book an appointment and ask to speak with a nurse if you have any further questions regarding eligibility.

Most people who travel outside New Zealand are still able to donate blood when they return. However, travel to an area where there is a risk of exposure to certain diseases can result in symptomless infection(s) that can be transmitted through blood transfusion.

Go back to the Donating after Travelling tool.

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