Three Patients Die of Rabies After Organ Transplants

07-02-04 - (Dallas-AP) Three people have died of rabies after receiving organ transplants at Baylor University Medical Center. Government officials are calling it the first documented cases of the disease being spread through organ donation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an Arkansas man's lungs, liver and kidneys were donated to four patients in Dallas and Alabama after he died in Texarkana, Texas.

The man died in May of a brain hemorrhage. The CDC says he had not shown symptoms of rabies. Three of the transplant recipients, including two Texans who received his kidneys and an Oklahoman who received his liver, died of rabies after suffering from lethargy and neurologic and respiratory problems.

The fourth died in Alabama from complications during surgery. None of the people who died have been identified.