It turns out three other people received organs from the same recipient, but so far none of them have exhibited any symptoms of the disease.
The victim was the state’s first fatal rabies case in almost 40 years.
The kidney recipient died at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington D.C. after being in the hospital for about a month.
He had received the kidney from a Florida resident in an operation that took place at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2011.
Officials initially didn’t think it was very likely that victim has become infected with rabies via the transplant, but have since had to rethink that stance.
The CDC compared rabies virus samples taken from the recipient and ascertained that they were genetically identical to the virus recovered from the organ donor.
The donor, described as a man in his 20s, died of encephalitis, or swelling of the brain. That condition is often caused by herpes and West Nile virus. It is rarely caused by rabies.
Transmission of the rabies virus via organ or tissue transplant is considered to be extremely rare.