Social media aided in probe of Md. rabies death

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Public health experts say social media played an invaluable role in last year's investigation of the death of a man in Maryland who got rabies from a transplanted kidney.

But they say it's imperative that investigators who use social media to locate people remain mindful of the need to protect patient privacy and confidentiality.

The article in the March 27 issue of Zoonoses and Public Health says investigators assessed 564 people for possible rabies exposure and recommended that 58 get shots as a precaution.

The article says investigators used social media to find someone who was seated next to the infected donor on a commercial flight in 2011. That person was assessed and not recommended for the shots.