health risks of dead bodies are dangers related to the improper preparation and
disposal of cadavers.
As per WHO In
situations where there are large numbers of deaths following a disaster dead or
decayed human bodies do not generally create a serious health hazard, unless
they are polluting sources of drinking-water with faecal matter, or are
infected with communicable diseases. In most smaller or less acute
emergency situations therefore, families may carry out all the necessary
activities following a death, where this is customary practice
circumstances allow cadavers to be quickly embalmed, cremated, or buried,
natural and man-made disasters can quickly overwhelm and/or interrupt the
established protocols for dealing with the dead resulting in decomposition and
putrefaction of cadavers.
concern has been health, logistical, and psychological issues.
people either bury the dead quickly or apply disinfectant to bodies for the
specific purpose of preventing disease. Both have no scientific basis.
In a disaster
the following may happen
a.The body gets
buried naturally with no ill consequence
b.The body gets
flown in water with no consequences
c.The body gets
decomposed and produces foul smell. Need simple customs and ritual filled
start eating the body as natural air burial again of no health consequence.
involved in the decay process (putrefaction) are not pathogenic.
risks from dead bodies in such cases are minimal. Unless the person was
suffering from a disease the fear of spread of disease by bodies killed
by trauma is not justified.
evidence exists that bodies of disaster victims increase the risk of epidemics
AND cadavers posed less risk of contagion than living people.
should be going into establishment of water supply, sanitation, shelter, warmth
and hygienic food for the survivors, not digging mass graves.
5.Spraying is a
waste of disinfectant and manpower.
burial of corpses can demoralize survivors.
7.Lack of death
certificates can cause future practical problems to survivors.
cultural practices should not be bypassed.
present a much more important reservoir for disease [than cadavers]. Real risk
is contamination of water supplies by unburied bodies, burial sites, or
temporary storage sites may result in the spread of gastroenteritis from normal
10.Only corpses who died from certain contagious
diseases do, indeed, spread disease, such as the case with smallpox and the
11.There is little evidence of microbiological
contamination of groundwater from burial.
12.Where dead bodies have contaminated water
supplies, gastroenteritis has been the most notable problem, although
communities will rarely use a water supply where they know it to be
contaminated by dead bodies.
13.To those in close contact with the dead, such
as rescue workers, there is a health risk from chronic infectious diseases
which those killed may have been suffering from and which spread by direct
contact, including hepatitis B and hepatitis C, HIV, enteric intestinal
pathogens, tuberculosis, cholera and others.
14.The substances cadaverine and putrescine are
produced during the decomposition of animal (including human) bodies, and both
give off a foul odor. They are toxic only if massive doses are ingested (2 g
per kg of body weight of pure putrescine in rats, a larger dose for
cadaverine), causing adverse effects.
15.Maggots in decomposed bodies also do not carry
immediate health risk.