From July 1 to November 30, travel to Europe may result in a temporary donation deferral

The West Nile virus transmission season is starting in Europe. The epidemic will affect blood donation in Finland, as travelling to at-risk areas between 1 July and 30 November will incur a 28-day donation deferral. This restriction is intended to prevent the potential transmission of an asymptomatic infection in the blood donor to the patient through the blood.

The blood donor's elbow bandage has a red Lifesaver sticker.

The West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquito bites. It is present during the summer and autumn in southern and southeastern Europe. Most infections are asymptomatic or only cause mild symptoms, such as a fever and a sore throat. However, in the worst-case scenario, the West Nile virus can cause severe encephalitis.

From the beginning of July, travelling or spending at least 20 hours in risk areas will result in a 28-day blood donation deferral.

In the EU and EFTA countries and small European states, the following countries or regions are considered risk areas with regard to transmission of the Western Nile virus:

  • Andorra: the entire country
  • Austria: the eastern parts of the country east of the Linz-Graz line. Travelling in Vienna will also result in a donation deferral. There are no restrictions on travelling in the cities of Linz or Graz.
  • Bulgaria: the entire country
  • Croatia: the entire country
  • France: the region of southern France between the cities of La Rochelle and Grenoble and from there, east to the Italian border. The restriction also applies to the cities of La Rochelle and Grenoble.
  • Germany: the northeast of the country from the Rostock-Magdeburg-Hof line eastwards. The deferral also applies to Berlin, but not to the cities of Rostock, Magdeburg, or Hof.
  • Greece: mainland Greece, including the Peloponnese and the island of Evia (Euboea).
  • Hungary: the entire country
  • Italy: the entire country
  • Monaco: the entire country
  • Romania: the entire country
  • San Marino: the entire country
  • Spain: mainland Spain
  • Vatican City: the entire country

There are usually no restrictions on blood donation in Finland when travelling to EU and EFTA countries or the UK. Travelling outside the EU/EFTA countries and the United Kingdom incurs a deferral of at least 28 days.

Visit the Blood Service’s website to see when you can next donate after your trip abroad.

It is possible to donate blood all over Finland, and approximately 700 blood donors are needed every weekday. You can easily find your nearest donation site on the Blood Service’s website.

Last modified: 15.07.2024