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Three Transplant Patients Die of Rabies

Medicine Transplant patients Rabies 2004

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#1 Shalamar

Shalamar

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Posted 01 July 2004 - 06:17 PM

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ATLANTA - Three people died of rabies after receiving infected organs from the same donor in what the government says are the first documented cases of the disease being spread through organ transplants.

Federal agencies are now looking into whether transplant organs should be screened for the rabies virus.

The lungs, kidneys and liver of an Arkansas man who died in May were donated to four patients in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aid Thursday. Three of them died of rabies; the fourth, in Alabama, died of complications during surgery, the CDC said.

The donor had shown no symptoms of rabies before his death from a brain hemorrhage, said Dr. Mitchell Cohen, director of the CDC coordinating center for infectious diseases.

"We are learning as we go this has never happened before," Cohen said.

While these are the first known cases of rabies being spread through donated organs, at least eight people have contracted the virus through cornea transplants, the CDC said.

Rabies testing is not routinely done on U.S. organ donors, although there are routine screenings for other diseases, including hepatitis B and C, HIV  and syphilis. Rabies has not been found in donated blood.

I'm not sure whrer this belongs but my first thought was 'Oh S***" ...

I know a fair amount about rabies, having been a vet tech, a recepient of rabies vaccine ( the hope to prevent it kind, not the oh I've been bit kind - but I've been bit often enough ).

If you want to be seriously disturbed, read David Lindsey's exceedingly well researched novel A Cold Mind.



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