Maryland Organ Transplant Patient Dies Of Rabies, Donor Not Tested For Disease

Organ Transplant Patient Dies Of Rabies, Donor Not Tested For Disease

A Maryland resident who died from a rabies infected kidney contracted the disease from an organ transplant operation performed over a year ago, health officials said Friday.

The organ transplant patient, who has not been named, died in late February.

Subsequent tests on the deceased Maryland resident and the donor’s tissue confirmed that both had a type of rabies that is inked to raccoons.

Barbara Reynolds, spokeswoman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said three other transplant patients who received organs from the same donor were now being evaluated and receiving post-exposure treatment for rabies.

She said between one and three people a year in the United States die from rabies and called the death from a rabies-infected organ transplant extremely rare. “We only know of one other time and that was in 2004,” she added.

The CDC also said in a statement that doctors had not suspected rabies as the cause of death in the donor, who died in Florida in 2011 and was not tested for rabies before the heart, liver and kidneys were harvested for donation.

The harvested organs were given to patients on Maryland, Illinois, Georgia and Florida.

A raccoon
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