Zika virus

There has been a lot of press coverage regards the Zika virus. Patients with immune deficiency are often concerned when a new infection is described. It is important to remember that this infection is transmitted by a mosquito bite (like malaria or yellow fever) and so patients in the UK would only need to think about this virus if travelling to an affected area, when they should then heed the Public Health England advice for travellers, especially pregnant women.

Immunodeficiency UK will post information about any special risks of Zika to individuals with primary immunodeficiency as soon as we learn of it, although we have seen nothing so far to suggest any unusual dangers to anyone except to the developing baby. Since we cannot say what the outcome of infection might be in someone with immune deficiency, the current advice would be to avoid travelling to affected areas if possible.

Zika viruses and immunoglobulins

On the 21st September 2016 the European Medicines Agency (EMA), an agency of the European Union in charge of the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines for use in the EU, issued a statement confirming that there is no increased risk of contamination with the Zika virus for patients who take plasma-derived medicines.

Following this an updated position statement was released by the International Patient Organisation for Primary Immunodeficiencies (IPOPI) on this topic. You can download this statement here. 

Here are more some useful links:

Reviewed by Dr Matthew Buckland, Chair of the Medical Panel, Posted February, September 2016.