What You Need to Know About Zika Virus and Egg Donation

Zika Virus and Egg Donation: The FDA has issued new restrictions regarding Zika virus and egg donation. Here is what you need to know.

Zika virus is most commonly contracted from a mosquito bite. However, it can be transmitted in a number of ways, such as sexual activity, blood transfusions, and reproductive tissues. The symptoms of a Zika virus infection are similar to the flu and include fever, rash, joint pain, and/or conjunctivitis (red eyes). These symptoms are often very mild and some people will have no symptoms at all.  The virus can remain in the blood stream for about a week but can last longer for some people. It is not particularly dangerous unless the infected person happens to be pregnant or is trying to conceive.

Pregnant women who are infected with Zika virus particularly in the first trimester, give birth to babies born with microcephaly. Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that have not developed properly.

The FDA is taking precautionary steps to protect recipients using donor eggs even though there have been no reported transmissions.  Zika virus has been found in semen but there have also been no reported transmissions by sperm donors.

The Temporary Restrictions For Egg Donors Are:

If you or a male partner has either lived or traveled to any of the following countries or areas in the United States within the past 6 months, you will be temporarily ineligible for egg donation.

  • Cape Verde (Cabo Verde in Africa)
  • Caribbean: Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin/Saint Maarten, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
  • Mexico
  • Miami/Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties in the United States : Miami Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach
  • Pacific Islands: American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tona
  • South America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela

Zika Virus and Egg Donation Summary: Thankfully as I write this article, there have been no reported cases of Zika virus this year. For the sake of recipients and egg donors particularly in South Florida, we hope that Zika goes by way of the Dodo bird and disappears.