Nipah Virus and Blood Donation

Principle:

Nipah virus NiV is a paramyxovirus that may cause a fatal encephalitis in infected patients.  Transmission to humans may occur after direct contact with infected bats, infected pigs, or from other infected humans.  ELISA, NAT, and direct culture may be used for confirmation of diagnosis, but there is no available licensed donor test.  The geographical distribution of this virus corresponds generally to the areas of malaria exclusion used for blood donor screening.  Most cases are fatal, and survivors may have neurologic sequelae.

The incubation period is 5-14 days with illness presenting 3-14 days of fever, headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation, and confusion.  These findings may progress to coma within 24-48 hours.  Some patients also develop a respiratory illness.  Latent infections with subsequent reactivation of the virus have occurred months to years after exposure.

Policy:

  1. The current exclusion for travel to malaria endemic areas will be used to exclude donors with possible NiV exposure.
  2. Any donor with a history of Nipah virus infection will be permanently deferred.
  3. As per current SOP, any donor not feeling well must not donate blood or blood components.