CDC Investigation of West Nile Virus Reveals Possible Transmission Through Organ Transplant


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Georgia State Department of Health, the Florida Department of Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration continue to investigate possible West Nile Virus transmission through organ transplantation.

The CDC's Fort Collins Laboratory and the Florida Department of Health Laboratory have confirmed that three of four persons who received organs from a single recipient were infected with the West Nile virus. The three confirmed organ recipients all had encephalitis; one has died and the other two are recovering in the hospital.

The Florida Department of Health is obtaining samples from the fourth organ donor recipient for West Nile virus testing. This person developed a febrile illness after transplantation and is now recovering at home.

Testing of the organ donor demonstrated evidence of West Nile virus infection from samples taken at the time of death. The means of the donor's infection remains under investigation; it is most likely that the donor became infected with the West Nile virus through a mosquito bite or via blood transfusion shortly before organ donation.

As a precaution, remaining blood products from donors of blood given to the organ donor as well to the organ recipients are being recalled. Donors of blood given to the organ donor are being contacted so testing for West Nile virus can be done. Recipients of blood products from these donors are also being contacted and tested for the West Nile virus.

The CDC, FDA, Georgia and Florida state health departments, Health Resources and Services Administration, and blood collection agencies are working together to identify the source of the organ donor's infection.

Source: CDC

Related Videos
Andrea Flinchum, 2024 president of the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc (CBIC) explains the AL-CIP Certification at APIC24
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology  (Image credit: APIC)
Lila Price, CRCST, CER, CHL, the interim manager for HealthTrust Workforce Solutions; and Dannie O. Smith III, BSc, CSPDT, CRCST, CHL, CIS, CER, founder of Surgicaltrey, LLC, and a central processing educator for Valley Health System
Jill Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, CRCST, NREMT, CHL
Jill Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, CRCSR, NREMT, CHL, and Katie Belski, BSHCA, CRCST, CHL, CIS
Baby visiting a pediatric facility  (Adobe Stock 448959249 by
Antimicrobial Resistance (Adobe Stock unknown)
Anne Meneghetti, MD, speaking with Infection Control Today
Patient Safety: Infection Control Today's Trending Topic for March
Related Content