To the FDA, a “traveler” is someone who is in an area for “more than 24 hours to less than 5 years” (as defined in the 2013 FDA malaria guidance). It seems weird that a blood bank web site would be defining the word “traveler,” doesn’t it? The definition is vital, however, in determining donor eligibility of people who leave the United States. A “traveler” is someone who enters areas where malaria is considered endemic by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for at least one day. The definition excludes those who simply drive, cruise, or fly through an at-risk area of a particular country.

Travelers (again, remember that means for more than a day and less than 5 years) to malaria-endemic areas are deferred from blood donation for a period of one year from the date that they leave. Please contrast this definition with that of a “Resident” of a malaria-endemic country.

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