The CDC and Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has confirmed that the Marylander who died from rabies contracted it from an organ transplant.
Preliminary CDC laboratory tests found that the donor and the recipient died from the same strain of rabies. The transplant happened more than a year before the recipient developed rabies symptoms and died.
According to the Washington Post, officials had initially doubted the possibility that the recipient had contracted rabies from the infected kidney.
The same Post report says he received the kidney transplant back in 2011 at the Walter Reed Medical Center.
The CDC has not confirmed the type of organ the recipient received.
The donor lived in Florida and died of encephalitis, inflammation of the brain, a condition that can be caused by rabies.
The organ donor became ill and was admitted to and died at a healthcare facility in Florida in 2011. Their organs, including kidneys, heart and liver were sent to recipients in Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Maryland. Rabies was not suspected as the cause of death and rabies testing was not performed at that time.
Rabies if left untreated is almost always deadly. That's why it's important for officials to find the other 3 transplant recipients who reportedly received a kidney, heart and liver from the infected donor.
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