The US has recently declared monkeypox a National Health Emergency. Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.

Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.

Worldwide, as of August 12, 2022, there have been no reports of transmission of monkeypox virus through blood transfusion and the risk of transfusion-transmission remains theoretical.

The FDA will continue to monitor cases of monkeypox in the U.S. and worldwide and the available information about potential risk of transfusion-transmitted monkeypox virus. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact.

Given the robustness of the existing safeguards for blood safety, FDA does not recommend that blood establishments ask donors additional, specific questions about possible exposure to monkeypox virus. Further, the FDA does not recommend using laboratory diagnostic tests to screen blood donors for monkeypox virus.

To minimize the theoretical risk of transfusion transmission:

  • Only donate if you feel well and healthy on the day of donation
  • Answer all donor history questions accurately
  • Please do not donate for at least 21 days after you have had known contact with monkeypox
  • If you have been infected with monkeypox, please do not donate until all lesions are healed
  • Receipt of Jynneos vaccine for Monkeypox does not require a blood donation deferral period

Donors who may have questions related to monkeypox, please email us at donateblood@ucmail.uc.edu.

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