Did you have shingles or chicken pox in the past 4 weeks? Then we really need you.
That's because there is a good chance you have antibodies against the varicella-zoster virus in your blood. You are a highly suitable donor of plasma with antibodies against this virus, which causes chicken pox and shingles.
Yes, I want to help!
Call us at 0800-5115 (free). We will ask you a number of questions and make an appointment for a subsequent donation when we will take the plasma. The level of varicella-zoster antibodies is particularly high in people who recently had shingles or chicken pox. Because the antibody level often drops again very quickly, it is best to donate plasma two or three times within a six-week period. After that, antibody levels are too low again. If you wish, you can then donate blood again after your plasma donations.
Who needs these antibodies?
Plasma with antibodies against shingles and chicken pox is used to make medicines for patients with a severely compromised immune system. This is the case in children who are being treated for cancer and in premature babies, for example.
What are shingles and chicken pox?
Shingles and chicken pox are caused by the same virus, the varicella-zoster virus. Chicken pox is a highly contagious childhood disease. In most cases it is harmless, but the disease can be life-threatening to children with severely compromised immune systems. This is the case in children who are being treated for cancer and in premature babies, for example. Newborns are also at risk if the mother had chicken pox shortly before delivery, or contracts chicken pox immediately after delivery.
The case with shingles is as follows: The varicella-zoster virus becomes dormant in the body's nervous system after the chicken pox infection. However, the virus can become active again if the body's immune system is compromised, for example through illness or stress. Then shingles can develop. This is an infection that usually occurs at an older age. Shingles usually begins with pain on the skin. After a few days, small groups of blisters develop, usually on one side of the body (mostly the back, chest, shoulder and arm). The blisters then dry into scabs. Shingles is accompanied by severe itch, and sometimes fever.