Transplant safety guidelines came nine months too late for four patients who received organs from a donor with rabies. The donor was thought to have died from a toxin, but after one of the transplant patients died last month, rabies was identified as the cause of the donor's death. The United Network for Organ Sharing recently released transplant guidelines calling for extreme caution when recovering organs from people, such as the donor, who die of what appears to be viral encephalitis. Some think it took too long for the recommendations to be formulated, but committee members say they were thorough and addressed more common diseases first.
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