CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

March 15, 2013

Organ donor had rabies; patient receives kidney and dies

By DAVID DISHNEAU
Associated Press

PENSACOLA, Fla. — 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 Wright 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.

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.