A Michigan woman who had a double-lung transplant contracted COVID-19 from the donated organs and died—the first case of its kind in the United States.
Kaiser Health News reports that routine swab tests on the donor, a car-accident victim, and the recipient turned up no trace of the virus before the operation. But three days after surgery, the woman fell sick, and a test of the new lungs came up positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The recipient died 61 days after the transplant; the surgeon also contracted COVID from the donated lungs.
Experts say more thorough testing of lung donors may be needed going forward but that potential recipients should not turn down life-saving organs out of fear.