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)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly ... designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: