CTPCRE Rabies vaccine vial. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.
(March 17, 2013)--Health officials in five states are assessing hundreds of people for rabies risk after the death of a Maryland man infected with the disease by a transplanted kidney.
The virus can be spread through the infected person's saliva, but human-to-human transmission is rare, officials said.
The transplant donor moved from North Carolina to Florida before dying in 2011 in Pensacola, Fla.
His donated organs went to patients in Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Maryland.
In Maryland, state veterinarian Katherine Feldman indicated about 200 medical workers, community members, and family members were assessed.
Fewer than two-dozen were urged to get the vaccine.
In Florida, the health department identified about 90 people who could have been exposed and three were offered the vaccine.