Rabies Passed On Through Organ Donations - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/1/04-Tyler

Rabies Passed On Through Organ Donations

C-D-C officials are investigating three deaths in east texas believed to have been caused after organ transplant patients recieved organs reportedly infected with rabies.

On May fourth, the lungs, kidneys and liver of an Arkansas man, apparently infected with rabies, were transplanted into three patients at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.   

Now, hundreds of workers, including those at Longview's Good Shepherd Hospital, could be tested for the disease.

According to a statement from Good Shepherd, one of the organ recipients, 18 year-old Joshua Hightower of Gilmer,  was presented to their emergency department after undergoing kidney transplant surgery.

According to Hightower's family, Joshua returned to Gilmer after the May 4th procedure showing signs of illness. 

He was re-admitted to Baylor where he died the day after Father's Day.  

As a precaution, Individuals who came into contact with the donor and recipients, including healthcare workers at Good Shepherd, will undergo risk assessment and possibly be offered a series of shots to prevent the disease from developing fully.

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