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N.C. woman IDs organ donor in rabies case

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A woman said yesterday she wasn't surprised to learn her child's father was the Air Force aviation mechanic whose rabies-infected organs were transplanted into other recipients, in-cluding a Maryland man who died.

Alecia Mercer, 20, of Trenton, N.C., told The Associated Press she was dubious when the military told her that William Edward Small, 20, died of a stomach virus in September 2011 while training in Florida.

"He did a lot of trapping and hunting and stuff," she said. "He didn't care what the animal looked like. He just picked it up."

Military and state health officials told her last week Small had died of rabies, Mercer said.

Doctors didn't test Small for rabies before he died. A man who received an infected kidney died. His heart, liver and other kidney went to people in Florida, Georgia and Illinois. None so far has rabies symptoms. Health officials say the virus can be spread through saliva and mucous membranes, but human-to-human contact is rare. -- AP

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