Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Ebola Facts - Handling of human remains

Published:Thursday | October 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Persons who have just died from the Ebola virus are the most contagious and remain so for a few days. No autopsy should be done.

Specially trained persons should handle the remains, and they MUST wear proper protective gear at all times - gloves, masks, gowns or full-body suits, high boots and eye or face shields.

The body should be placed in two sealed plastic bags, with absorbent material put under the body in the first bag. Seal and label bag as highly-infectious material. The body must be buried immediately in a hermetically sealed casket or cremated.

DO NOT let your bare skin come in contact with the body or any secretion. Properly clean up all secretion and disinfect any area the body comes in contact with.

According to the World Health Organization, a famous traditional healer who died in Sierra Leone infected 14 other persons who prepared her body, which led to as many as 365 Ebola deaths, several of whom participated in her funeral. In Guinea, 60 per cent of all cases have been linked to traditional burial practices.