Rabies Deaths Linked to Organ Transplants
Donor Transmitted Deadly Disease to 3 Organ Transplant Recipients
Rabies Strain Usually Found in Bats continued...
But the CDC is working with all the states and hospitals involved to determine who came in contact with the donor and the recipients and who might need shots to prevent rabies.
The hospitals that cared for the donor and transplant recipients include:
- Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas
- University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama
- Christus Saint Michael Healthcare Center, Texarkana, Texas
- Wadley Regional Medical Center, Texarkana, Texas
- Good Shepherd Medical Center, Longview, Texas
Rabies can be prevented if a series of six shots is given over a 28-day period to boost the body's defenses against the virus.
However, once symptoms develop, rabies is nearly always fatal. Early symptoms in humans are non-specific and include fever, headache, and general malaise. As the condition progresses, other symptoms include:
- Slight or partial paralysis
- Excessive salivation
- Difficulty swallowing
- Fear of water
SOURCES: CDC telebriefing, July 1, 2004. News release, CDC. Mitchell Cohen, MD, director, coordinating center for infectious diseases, CDC. Virginia McBride, public health organ donation specialist, Health Resources and Services Association. Daniel H. Hayes, MS, United Network for Organ Sharing. CDC.