News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Dead bodies do not pose health risk in natural disasters

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7452.1336-b (Published 03 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1336
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    Fears about the dangers that dead bodies pose to the survivors of natural disasters are mistaken— and may be compounding health problems in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the two Caribbean countries where recent flooding has caused hundreds of deaths.

    “People are reacting to the misguided fear that bodies will spread disease,” says Dr Jean-Luc Poncelet, who directs the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief program me of the Pan American Health Organization. “This misconception is very common, and the same reaction has occurred in many other countries around the world.”

    His comments follow publication of a study that reviewed what dangers dead bodies pose to survivors …

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