The dead man actually had the donated organ for 15 months before becoming sick. That’s why doctors didn’t consider rabies with their first diagnosis.
But when looking closer during an autopsy the disease was found and confirmed.
It’s the first death from rabies in Maryland in 40 years and it has many concerned. The donor was a man from Florida who died from swelling of the brain, also known as encephalitis.
Rabies can cause that type of swelling but it’s somewhat unusual.
The bigger worry is that organs were harvested from the man and given to three other people.
At this time it’s not known if any of them are sick.
Screenings are not usually done for rabies before transplants.
One person familiar with the case said "everyone was taken aback that someone who dies of encephalitis is considered acceptable to donate an organ."