A woman has died with coronavirus after being given infected lungs in a double transplant.

The transplant patient, who has not been named had chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) so was given the two new organs at a hospital in Michigan, US, last year.

But she died two months later despite showing no signs of the virus and initially testing negative.

A surgeon who handled the donor lungs was also infected with coronavirus and became ill but recovered.

The lungs were from a woman who died after suffering a brain injury in a car accident, NBC News reports.

Nose and throat samples were taken from the accident victim and the recipient which tested negative for coronavirus.

But three days after the transplant the patient developed a fever, suffered a drop in her blood pressure fell and had breathing difficulties.

Dr Daniel Kaul ia the director of Michigan Medicine’s transplant infectious disease service

Dr Daniel Kaul ia the director of Michigan Medicine’s transplant infectious disease service
(Image: Michigan Medicine/Youtube)

Her condition deteriorated and after she showed signs of septic shock and heart problems her lungs were tested which showed she had coronavirus.

Fluid taken from the lungs before the transplant was also tested and returned a positive result.

The woman received her transplant at the University of Michigan Hospital

The woman received her transplant at the University of Michigan Hospital
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Doctors tried known treatments for Covid-19 including remdesivir – which was used to treat Donald Trump – but her condition worsened and she died 61 days after her transplant.

Officials at the University of Michigan Medical School believe this may be the first proven case of the virus being transmitted during one of the 40,000 organ transplant that took place in the US last year.

Dr Daniel Kaul, director of Michigan Medicine’s transplant infectious disease service, co-wrote a report into the death for The American Journal of Transplantation which revealed the death this week.

He told NBC News that the death has led to calls for more thorough testing of lung transplant donors with samples from deep with the organ being testes as well as nose and throat.

He added: “We would absolutely not have used the lungs if we’d had a positive Covid test.

“All the screening that we normally do and are able to do, we did.”

It remains uncertain whether other organs such as the heart, liver or kidney can transmit the virus during a transplant.

Dr Kaul said: “It seems for non-lung donors that it may be very difficult to transmit Covid, even if the donor has Covid.”

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