Experts say a Maryland man who died last month of rabies might have been spared under transplant recommendations that hadn't yet been published when he got a kidney from an infected donor in 2011.
The guidance from the United Network for Organ Sharing came out in June, nine months after organs from the Florida donor went to four patients.
The only other U.S. case of rabies transmission through transplants occurred in Texas in 2004. That case helped lead to the creation of the panel that produced the recommendations.
The Disease Transmission Advisory Committee says it took so long partly because it had to gather enough data for its recommendations. It also decided to address more common diseases such as influenza and certain cancers first.