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My husband can't donate blood because we went to Costa Rica

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My husband can't donate blood because we went to Costa Rica

Old Mar 1st, 2007, 08:32 AM
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My husband can't donate blood because we went to Costa Rica

Forgive me if this has been posted before; I did a search and couldn't find anything on this topic.

My husband is a proud and frequent blood donor. He was trying to donate blood today and they asked if he'd been out of the country in the last three years. When he said he went to Costa Rica a year ago, it set off a flurry of further questioning about exactly where we went. It seems that La Fortuna is in an "area of possible malaria exposure", so he can't donate blood again for some time.

My husband is pretty upset about this. Just thought I'd pass that on for the blood donors out there.
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 09:11 AM
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Well, I can never donate blood again due to the fact that I have spent at least 6 months combined in certain countries overseas. It is too bad but they have reasons for this that reassure me when I need blood.
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 09:19 AM
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It's rather fascinating. I took industrial strength insect repellant with us to CR and never needed it. However, here in Dallas I personally know three people who have contracted the West Nile Virus. Is that a problem in blood?
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 09:34 AM
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hi missypie, Love the name!

I will be going to Costa Rica on a Missionary trip in 3 weeks. The teacher is adamant on DDT spray. We will be working in a little village West of San Jose, and after much research I would think the only time I would need it is on the zipline or hiking. I have been to Mexico many times and never have had to use bug repellent, I hope I don't have to use it now. Let me know what you think.

Thanks, Therea in Freezing Rain in Detroit.
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 09:35 AM
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Hi missypie!! Great info. My husband is a frequent blood & platelet donor. He is planning on going to CR on a church mission trip. This is on the Carribean side near Puerto Viejo, which is, I'm sure, malaria country.

Yes, West Nile virus is a problem in blood, but is screened. A friend here in Northern Cal donated blood and got a call a few days later saying she had West Nile!! She didn't even know she was sick!!

Have a great trip to Spain.

MY
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Well, DH has calmed down. He can actually donate after one year has elapsed from our trip...so he can donate later this month. (He has donated twice this year, however-they're going to track down the blood.)
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 11:02 AM
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I developed West Nile in Dallas and had signs and symptoms for 4 days.
Now have presumed life long immunity barring a collapse of my immune system.
Donate when I can.
Got rejected for blood donation (partner had AML) years ago 'cuz I had a recent cadaveric bone graft.
Blood donation is a good way to mitigate incipient iron overload (hemosiderosis).
M
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 11:27 AM
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Are you saying that you only had symptoms FOR 4 days, or that you had symptoms within 4 days of the bite? One of the people I know with West Nile was very close to death and still walks with a cane 2 years later. Another had to quit her job and move back in with her parents (quite a thing for a 45 year old lawyer!); her recovery was lengthy.

Anyway, the lady at the blood place said that neither Manuel Antonio nor San Jose were on the "malaria" list - just the province where Arenal/La Fortuna are.

The only time we used bug spray was on our hanging bridge walk on our first day...and that wasn't because we needed it. It was that I had read so much about bugs that I made everyone put it on.
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 11:46 AM
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mp,
I had "signs and symptoms for 4 days".
Had I not known better, I would have thought I had polio, and yes, I'm old enough to have seen polio patients.
Have used Ultrathon in Costa Rica and Panama's Darien rather than updating my Yellow Fever and taking Malaria prophy.
M (SMdA, Gto.)
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Hi Missypie and all,

We are Canadians and my husband too is in the same position. He has gone to extremes of delaying a vacation for several months because he wanted to give the maximum in a year. Here too there story is the same. Costa Rica is on "the list". Actually i think it is only certain provinces.
Anyway, the policy here is after 6 months they will take your blood and use only the platelets. And after a year, you are good to give and have it used 100%.

Since we own a condo in CR, w try to get there a few times a year. He is on the Blood services list, so they call him periodically to donate. Every time he goes through the same thing. he asks the person if he can give, they don't know and run around looking for the info....

I too have friends who can't give because over years the total time they have spent i England - a week here, a few days there...has totaled up to more than 6 month.
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 01:18 PM
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Hello- Just thought I would add my two cents. I encountered the same problem after our last trip to CR. I told them (at the blood bank) I had been in CR, then they pulled out a map. We had been in Guanacaste, Manuel Antonio and Dominical. Surprisingly, it was the Guanacaste part of the trip that made me unable to donate That area is, according to them, a malarial area. I would have thought the southern, wetter areas would be the problem. Anyway, it's (unfortunately) been more then a year since we were in CR so I am going to donate again, before we head back in May.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:55 AM
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The real scoop:

From the American Red Cross:

http://tinyurl.com/2ahsrk

Malaria
"Wait 3 years after completing treatment for malaria. Wait 12 months after returning from a trip to an area where malaria is found. Wait 3 years after living in a country where malaria is found. Learn more about malaria and blood donation."
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