MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — When you have a question about COVID-19, call WKRG News 5’s coronavirus hotline and we’ll try to get you an answer. The number is: 251-662-3055.
This is the question of the day for April 14: “After a person dies of the coronavirus, how long does the virus live or stay on that body? Thank you.”
Just Tuesday, multiple news outlets started reporting the first case of someone contracting COVID-19 from the body of someone who died from the virus in Thailand. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.”
But in the Bangkok case, the person infected by the body was a forensic medical examiner, and some experts say that adds to safety concerns for those who work at morgues and funeral homes.
Jonathan Rayner, Director of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, tells Cherish Lombard that, “Viruses need us to replicate. When we die, our cells don’t replicate. That said, any virus already present in tissues and fluids will remain infectious for a period of time. It’s unclear how long the time period is.”
That’s why there are certain measures suggested for anyone who directly handles the body of someone who passed due to COVID-19. You can read about that here.
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