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Man dies of rabies after receiving infected kidney in kidney transplant

By Mason White 5:02 AM March 17, 2013
Hospital room illustration 

By: Moses Gold
(Scroll down for video) A man died of rabies after receiving an infected kidney in a kidney transplant procedure, according to hospital officials in Maryland.

The Maryland man became the first fatal case of rabies in nearly 40 years.

Three other people, in Georgia, North Carolina and Illinois, received organs from the same donor. They have been located and have started rabies prevention treatment.

“They’re doing well,” Matthew Kuehnert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday morning, confirming the previously reported case. The CDC is helping county, state, military and other federal agencies investigating the case.

It is the third time ever that rabies has been contracted through transplantation of an organ like the kidneys and liver. A group of cases occurred in Texas in 2004 and in Germany in 2005.

The recipient died at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington after being in the hospital for about a month, according to people with knowledge of the matter. He had received a kidney from a Florida man in an operation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2011.

CDC laboratory scientists earlier this week confirmed that the rabies virus was obtained from the organ donor.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view