Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Donor in rabies cases was Air Force recruit
First Published Mar 15 2013 03:50 pm • Last Updated Mar 15 2013 03:53 pm

The Defense Department says a man whose organs were donated to four people before it was learned he had rabies was in the Air Force.

Spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith identified the donor as a 20-year-old North Carolina man who had been in the Air Force for about 17 weeks before he died in 2011. He was training to become an aviation mechanic in Pensacola, Fla., when he became sick.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

A Maryland patient who received one of the man’s kidneys later died of rabies. Authorities are treating three other people who got organs from the donor.

Public health officials say they’re trying to identify people in five states who were in close contact with the donor or the recipients.

The man who died had received the kidney more than a year ago. The recipients of the donor’s other kidney, heart and liver are getting anti-rabies shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release Friday. Those patients live in Florida, Georgia and Illinois.

The Maryland patient’s death more than a week ago prompted an investigation by state health officials that led to the announcement Tuesday of the state’s first human death from rabies since 1976. Such deaths are rare, with typically just one to three cases diagnosed per year in the U.S., the CDC said.

The investigation revealed that the Maryland recipient had no reported animal exposures, the usual source of rabies transmission to humans. Investigators then confirmed that both the Maryland recipient and the Florida donor had died from the same type of raccoon rabies virus, the CDC said.

This type of type of rabies virus can infect not only raccoons but also other wild and domestic animals. In the United States, only one other person is reported to have died from a raccoon-type rabies virus, the CDC said.

The organ transplants occurred more than a year before the Maryland recipient became ill and died, a period much longer than the typical rabies incubation period of one to three months. There have been other cases of such long incubation periods, however, the CDC said.

The donor died at a Florida medical facility. At the time of the donor’s death, rabies wasn’t suspected as the cause and testing for rabies was not performed, the CDC said. Rabies was only recently confirmed as the cause of death after the current investigation began in Maryland, the agency said.


story continues below
story continues below



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.