Tags: Coronavirus | Coronavirus | deadbodies | contagious

Coroner: Dead Bodies of Coronavirus Patients Remain Contagious

Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Relatives stand next the dead body of a woman, who died from the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, during her burial at a graveyard in New Delhi on April 16, 2020. (Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 16 April 2020 07:07 PM

Dead bodies can pass along coronavirus to living people, according to a report in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine.

A forensic practitioner who worked in Bangkok, Thailand died after they likely caught coronavirus from a dead patient, the report found.

"Absolutely, a dead body would be contagious at least for hours if not days," Dr. Otto Yang, a researcher at UCLA who specializes in immunology, told Live Science. "The virus will still be in respiratory secretions, and potentially still reproducing in cells that haven't yet died in the lungs."

"There is [a] low chance of forensic medicine professionals coming into contact with infected patients, but they can have contact with biological samples and corpses," the authors of the report wrote.

Only 272 people in Thailand had contracted coronavirus when the report was written on March 19. Among that group was a nurse assistant and the forensic practitioner who died from the virus. Most of the cases were imported into the community from someone on the outside.

The researchers concluded the forensic practitioner probably didn't get infected outside of her job or from a living person at work.

This means forensic scientists should still use caution when working with the remains of a coronavirus patient, the researchers wrote. That includes wearing personal protective equipment, including goggles, a head covering, a mask and protective suit.

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Dead bodies can pass along coronavirus to living people, according to a report in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine.A forensic practitioner who worked in Bangkok, Thailand died after they likely caught coronavirus from a dead patient, the report found....
Coronavirus, deadbodies, contagious
228
2020-07-16
Thursday, 16 April 2020 07:07 PM
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