Human monkeypox virus is a disease related to smallpox, but it causes a milder illness. Monkeypox infection, transmitted from animals to humans, was first identified in 1970 in rural villages of Central and West Africa as smallpox disappeared and smallpox vaccination programs were stopped. Increasing cases of monkeypox have been recently reported in over 20 countries worldwide, including Canada with 26 cases reported by May 27, 2022.

Is monkey pox transmissible by blood or blood products?

As of May 2022, there have been no reported cases of transmission of monkeypox by blood transfusion.

What about medicine made from plasma? Is monkeypox transmissible through plasma protein products?

Monkeypox is not transmissible through plasma protein products, which are pharmaceutical therapies made from plasma — a component of blood. In general, plasma protein products are extremely safe because of the added steps in the manufacturing process that inactivate or remove viruses, including monkey pox.

Can I donate if I have had contact with someone who has had monkeypox?

If you have had contact with someone who has had monkeypox and don’t get sick or have symptoms, you should wait at least 3 weeks from last contact with the infected person before donating blood.

Can I donate if I have had monkeypox?

If you have had monkeypox, you should wait until you are fully recovered (all symptoms have resolved, skin back to normal,  and you are back to your normal activities) before donating blood. The length of time can vary depending on the person.

Should I contact Canadian Blood Services if I develop a case of monkeypox, or a contact of a case of monkeypox?

Yes, please contact Canadian Blood Services if you have donated and then find out you either have a case of monkeypox or were in contact with someone who has had monkeypox.

Where can I get more information?

Please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s outbreak update for more information.