JPAC Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee

Appendix 4 - Management of post donation illness

This appendix gives guidance on the management of donations taken from donors who report post donation illness with a (probable) infectious cause.

The actions are based upon the nature and potential severity of the illness, relevant incubation period and the risk of the illness causing harm to a transfusion recipient. 

Recipient notification and lookback/traceback investigations are outside the scope of this guidance. Please follow local policies and procedures.  



Infection Incubation Action for donation
Bordetella Pertussis (Whooping Cough) IP7-10 days Discard if within 10 days
Borrelia Burgdorferei (Lyme Disease) IP 3-30 days Discard up to 30 days if donor diagnosed with acute Lyme disease

Chronic Lyme disease no action required
Costochondritis/ Coxsackie virus (Bornholm Disease) IP 1-7 days Discard up to 1 week
Chickenpox/Varicella Zoster IP 10-21 days Discard if within 3 weeks
COVID-19 (SARS –CoV-2) IP 2-14 days Discard if:
•    A SARS-CoV-2 test has been taken and COVID-19 confirmed; and
•    Symptoms and/or the positive test result occurred in the 48-hour period after donation.
If a SARS-CoV-2 test is negative or has not been taken, refer to the relevant advice on this page for the donor’s symptoms.
Coxsackie A (Hand, foot & mouth disease) IP 3-7 days
Usually Coxsackie A, but can be other enteroviruses
Discard up to 7 days
Epstein-Barr Virus (Glandular Fever) IP 30-50 days Discard up to 50 days
Hepatitis (acute, viral) IP HAV 2-6 weeks Discard up to 7 weeks
IP HBV 6 weeks to 6 months Discard all in date components*
IP HCV up to 6 months Discard all in date components*
IP HEV 2-8 weeks Discard up to 9 weeks
Herpes Simplex
(Oral and genital)
IP 2-12 days for primary infection. Discard up to 14 days for primary infection
Primary viraemia during IP,
secondary viraemia at time of symptom
Recurrent infection No action if recurrent lesion/s and lesions were absent or healing when donated
HIV   Discard all in-date components at any interval after donation*
HTLV   Discard all in-date components at any interval after donation
Influenza IP 1-5 days (Influenza A)
IP 4-5 days (adenovirus)
No action unless severe systemic symptoms.
Defined as fever/myalgia +/- cough/cold symptoms If present, discard up to 5 days
Legionella (Legionnaire’s Disease/Pontiac Fever) IP up to 3 weeks Discard up to 3 weeks
Measles IP 10-21 days Discard up to 3 weeks
Monkeypox 21 days

Discard up to 21 days. Follow local processes for public health notification if the component has been transfused.
If the donor has reported contact with Monkeypox in the 21 days before donation, place the donation on hold and seek public health advice to determine the risk.


Mumps IP 16-18 days
Primary & secondary viraemia
Discard up to 3 weeks
Mycoplasma IP 1-4 weeks
M. pneumoniae

Mostly headache, malaise, fever, 5-10% progress to pneumonia
Discard up to 4 weeks
Parvovirus B19 (Fifth disease, Slapped Cheek) IP 13-20 days Discard up to 3 weeks
Rubella (German Measles) IP 14-21 days  Discard up to 3 weeks
TB   Discard all in-date components at any interval post donation.
Look-back to relevant transfused recipients
West Nile Virus IP 3-15 days Discard up to 15 days

IP –Incubation Period

* HBV, HCV and HIV Seek microbiological advice regarding recall of previous donations if the donor’s history and/or testing results suggest this is an acute (recent) infection


Condition Comments Action for donation
Appendicitis   No action if confirmed appendicitis and asymptomatic at the time of donation.
Bornholm Disease See Costochondritis/ Coxsackie virus  
Chest infection   No action unless systemic symptoms; if present discard up to 5 days
Common Cold   No action unless symptoms
Conjunctivitis   No action providing well on the day
Diarrhea & vomiting Causes may include

Salmonella (IP 12-72 hrs)

Shigella (IP 1-7 days)

Campylobacter (IP 1-11 days)

Rotavirus (IP 24-72 hrs)

Norovirus (IP 1-2 days)

Cryptosporidium (IP 2-5 days)

Yersinia (IP 4 days)

With all the above likely to be significant bacteremia or viraemia

Staphylococcal, Clostridium and B. cereus food poisoning is all toxin induced
Discard up to 14

If this is an episode of food poisoning which occurred after the donation, no action required
Fifth Disease, Slapped Cheeks See Parvovirus B19  
German Measles See Rubella above  
Glandular Fever/Kissing Disease See Ebstein-Barr Virus  
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease See Coxsackie A  
Jaundice Assess whether infective cause possible Discard all in-date components after any notification if infection is a possible cause:
  • See specific entry if infective cause identified
  • Discard not required if a non-infective cause has been identified (e.g. drug reaction)
Legionnaire’s Disease/Pontiac Fever See Legionella  
Lyme Disease Refer Borrelia Burgdorferei  
Malaria Any disclosure of illness or risk after donation Follow local policies and procedures
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Possible viraemia for 48 hours from symptoms and/or rash Discard if rash or any symptoms develop within 48 hours.
Symptoms include tingling of skin, pain or eruption of vesicles
Skin disease: Cellulitis/erysipelas Streptococcus Pyogenes Discard up to 1 week 
Skin disease: Impetigo Group A Streptococcus
Staphylococcus Aureus
IP 3-5 days
No action if no systemic symptoms; if present, discard up to 1 week
Sore throat May include:
Group A strep (IP 2-4days)
EBV (IP 0-50days)
If a sore throat is accompanied by simple cold symptoms and no systemic symptoms, no action is required

Systemic symptoms include malaise, myalgia, fever, headache.

If systemic symptoms, discard up to 1 week

If glandular fever, discard up to 50 days
Transmissable Spongiform Encephalopathy (Prion Disease) If informed of a possible or confirmed case of prion associated disease, recall (do not discard) any in date components. Follow local policies and procedures.
UTI Symptomatic at donation Discard
Asymptomatic at donation No action unless systemic symptoms when discard up to 5 days
Systemic symptoms include malaise, myalgia, fever and headache.
Whooping cough See Bordetella Pertussis  

IP – Incubation Period

Last updated 30/08/2022