Navigation Links
What to do with the Dead if a Flu Outbreak Happens?

When the 1918 pandemic hit, the death toll was so overwhelming that steam shovels were brought in to dig graves, caskets rented to hold brief //memorial services, trains commandeered to transport dead soldiers and priests could be seen patrolling the streets of Philadelphia.

With the threat of another flu pandemic looming in the not too distant future and the government and health care providers making preparations for it mortuary specialists are once more faced with the question ‘what to do with the dead?’

Although the virulence of the next global flu outbreak cannot be exactly predicted but experts estimate that even a modest epidemic in the scale of the 1968 epidemic could kill up to 207,000 Americans. Should it mimic the more violent attack 1918 strain, the death toll in the US could rise to 1.9 million.

Experts have foreseen at least an 18-month period of funeral homes being short-staffed, 24-hour operations of crematories. Hospitals and morgues would quickly reach capacity. In addition federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORT) would be probably be too busy in their own communities to be deployed elsewhere.

Some experts fear that while the Bush administration, has made detailed planning for pandemic flu, it has paid minimal attention to fatalities.

‘It's the one thing nobody wants to address, because it's ugly. People don't want to think that anyone will die,’ said John Fitch, senior vice president for advocacy at the National Funeral Directors Association. ‘We can't put our head in the sand and say response stops at prevention and treatment.’

The 227-page response plan released by the White House has only spared a paragraph on page 112 to recommend hospitals, government officials and medical examiners 'to assess current capacity for refrigeration of deceased persons, discuss mass fatality plans and identify temporary morgue sites' to handle surges.

However officials decla re that the administration had helped to organize a two-day conference at Fort Monroe in Virginia in March with funeral directors, public health experts medical examiners and casket makers. Some of the ideas being considered are virtual funerals, backyard burials, and storing bodies at ice hockey rinks.

'Virtual funerals' broadcast over closed-circuit television or the Internet would be advised, said Nesler, who ran the Fort Monroe conference. 'The very worst thing you can do during an epidemic is have large gatherings of people' such as memorial services, he said.

Of course smaller problems like fuel shortages during this time would mean added complications transporting bodies and keeping refrigerated trucks cool. With funeral operators and medical examiners at the bottom of White House’s priority list for medicine and vaccine most of the burden of dealing with the dead would probably fall to local communities and the states.

Chief medical examiner, Marcella Fierro, for Virginia has said that the state is trying to help now by developing software systems for clerical tasks such as keeping track of the dead and contacting next of kin.

According to Michael Osterholm, head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at the University of Minnesota, ‘If the next pandemic strikes with the same ferocity as the 1918 flu, even the most thorough planning will not prepare people for the emotional toll of such widespread death.’

'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Ebola Virus - Outbreak Claims More Lives In Uganda.
2. Grapes, Melons Implicated in Outbreaks
3. Green Onions Blamed in Outbreak
4. Mumbai Alert: Possibility Of An Epidemic Outbreak
5. Dengue Outbreak in Kolkata, Four Dead
6. Global Outbreak Of Bird Flu Warning By Chinese Scientist
7. India May not Face Bird Flu Outbreak
8. Pakistani Quake Survivors Face Outbreak Of Diarrhea
9. Legal Action against Authority Regarding Outbreak of Legionnaires’ Diseas
10. Novel Strain Detected In The Recent Outbreak Of Bird Flu At Ukraine
11. Watch Station Set Up In China To Monitor Bird Flu Outbreak
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health ... technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing ... form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many ... dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the ... 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House ... most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of ... baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and ... of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six ... years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The company has developed ... consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula has ... highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Soy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... PARK, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2017  BioPharmX ... national scientific team that developed an innovative way to ... quantity of the delivery of new drugs. ... 2017 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference will show how researchers ... General Hospital, Harvard Medical School used a suite of ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today provided an ... Puerto Rico , where the company ... Following a comprehensive onsite assessment, ... damage, temporary loss of power and minimal water damage ... operations have resumed, and the company expects to return ...
(Date:10/7/2017)...   Provista, a proven leader in the ... purchasing power, today announced a new resource area on ... is the online home for case studies, articles ... news releases, slideshows and events. ... resources at their fingertips, viewers can also watch short ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: