A coronavirus was transmitted to a forensic expert from a person who died in Thailand due to coronavirus. This event was recorded as the first case of coronavirus caused by a dead person.
We have some information about the ways coronavirus spreads, but information about some potential ways of transmission of the virus is not sufficient. Whether or not the virus will be transmitted from people who lost their lives due to coronavirus still remains as a question mark.
Whether the virus is transmitted from people who have lost their lives remains a question mark, but the first case of coronavirus transmitted from a dead person has recently been reported. In a report published in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine by Won Sriwijitalai from the RVT Medical Center in Bangkok and Virof Wiwanitkit from China Hainan Medical University, a forensic expert in Thailand reported coronavirus from a dead person.
Forensic experts, morgue technicians and funeral providers should also be protected
Coronavirus transmission from a dead person brings back the disinfection process of judicial units and institutions providing funeral services. The authors of the article say that disinfection procedures performed in operating rooms should also be applied in forensic centers.
Angelique Corthals, a professor of pathology at the John Jay Criminal Law School, says that not only medical specialists, but also morgue technicians and people working in funeral homes should be protected.
It is not yet clear how long the new type of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 remains active in a dead body. It is also among the question marks whether the virus can be transmitted from a dead person.
Ebola was one of the viruses known to be transmitted from dead bodies. The World Health Organization acknowledges that hepatitis, tuberculosis and cholera are also a risk for people working in funerals besides Ebola.
Summer Johnson McGee, a health policy specialist at New Haven University, said that anyone who comes in contact with a live or dead coronavirus case should use protective equipment to protect against the virus.
In almost all countries, the presence of coronavirus is not tested in people who die due to non-coronavirus causes. For this reason, especially forensic experts, morgue technicians and people providing funeral services are considered as threatened. In particular, autopsy and its ongoing research poses a serious risk for forensic specialists.