Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Circulation of ‘disaster myths’ in Haiti could hinder appropriate disposal of bodies

30.09.2004


Myths about the infectious disease threat posed by dead bodies could lead to insensitive and inappropriate treatment of victims’ bodies following the floods in Haiti, and need to be checked, according to a public health researcher who has studied the potential risks at length.



Although most of the media coverage of the disaster has been responsible and accurate, there have been some reports which wrongly state that dead bodies can cause epidemics.

‘Fear that dead bodies cause epidemics in the surviving population has led to measures such as burial in mass graves without proper identification of the victims’, comments Oliver Morgan, a researcher at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, whose paper reviewing the scientific literature to assess the infectious disease risks of dead bodies following natural disasters appeared in the Pan American Journal of Public Health recently. ‘However, in the current situation in Haiti, the risk that dead bodies pose to the public is extremely small’, he adds.


Morgan found that most of the victims usually die from trauma rather then ‘epidemic-causing’ infections. He says: ‘In many natural disasters, the risk of epidemics is used to justify measures such as rapid mass burial. The result is that the victims are often not identified, leaving family members searching for their loved ones’.

Unlike the general public, those who are involved in close contact with the dead—such as military personnel, rescue workers, volunteers, and others—may be exposed to chronic infectious hazards, including hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, HIV, enteric pathogens, and tuberculosis. Morgan advises that suitable precautions for these people should include training, use of body bags and disposable gloves, good hygiene practice, and vaccination for hepatitis B and tuberculosis.

Lindsay Wright | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lshtm.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>