What we know about transplanted organs carrying COVID-19

Dr. Jen Ashton shares the latest on the double-lung transplant recipient.
2:09 | 02/25/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for What we know about transplanted organs carrying COVID-19
Let's start with the numbers on the Pam, we get these numbers from Johns Hopkins university, and there they are, staggering. 112.6 million confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world, death toll here in it country now well over 505,000. But, doc, more people getting vaccinated, CDC now reporting at least 66.4 million doses have been administered here in the U.S. Yes, that's a number we like to see continuing to rise. The only number we'd only see rising. We're learning more and more about covid-19 even day. This one that we're about to talk about is fascinating and disturbing at the same time, because doctors have found that there's a case of covid-19 that was carried through an organ transplant. Exactly, and it is believed to be the first case documented of its kind. So here's what we know at this point. This came out of university of Michigan. This was a double-lung transplant recipient. Now, for some context, the donor, all donors of organs are tested extensively for infectious diseases. This donor was tested for covid-19, obviously negative. The recipient then went on to develop covid-19 post-transplant and actually died of covid-19 complications 61 days after receiving those double lungs. The donor tissue was then retested because, again, the team was trying to figure out what had happened, and they actually were able to detect covid-19 deep in the lung tissue. So initially they had a false negative result. The transplant surgeon also became infected with covid-19. He was not wearing an n95 mask during that transplant surgery. And perspective, how significant is this? To put it into context, very, very rare that we've seen this with organ transplantation. There are about 40,000 organ transplants done in this country every year. Still very, very important. Now, as a result of this, lung transplant surgeons are actually going to be doing this deeper type of testing, before the transplant. But again, this is a reminder, there are always false negatives, and there are false positives. Amazing how much we continue to learn. Doc, thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"2:09","description":"Dr. Jen Ashton shares the latest on the double-lung transplant recipient.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/GMA","id":"76111951","title":"What we know about transplanted organs carrying COVID-19 ","url":"/GMA/GMA3/video/transplanted-organs-carrying-covid-19-76111951"}