ABSTRACT

Handling of Human Remains from Natural Disasters   [open pdf - 147KB]

"Natural disasters usually lead to fatalities due to trauma. Human remains resulting from these types of disasters generally pose little health risk because cellular and pathogenic organisms begin to die soon after death. As cellular death occurs, post-mortem cooling of the body occurs. During this process, known as algor mortis, the remains begin to decompose (the internal and external environment of the remains will determine their speed of decomposition). As the remains decompose, bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials (e.g., gastrointestinal and respiratory pathogens) may continue to persist. Personnel in direct contact with human remains must take precautions to protect themselves from chronic infectious hazards, including hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), enteric pathogens, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis."

Report Number:
U.S. Army Public Health Command: Fact Sheet 37-032-1010
Publisher:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
http://phc.amedd.army.mil/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
Help with citations