The Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine has released a letter with convincing information affirming death care professionals suspicions that the virus is still active in the dead.
Won Sriwijitalai, of Bangkok’s RVT Medical Center, and Viroj Wiwanitkit, of China’s Hainan Medical University, wrote to the editor of the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine (April 12) stating that they have strong reason to believe that a forensic medical examiner in Bangkok became infected via a deceased COVID-19 patient.
Currently, patients in Thailand are mostly imported cases and recording of local spreading in the community is limited. Meaning that there is a low chance of forensic medicine professionals coming into contact with an infected patient, but they can have contact with biological samples and corpses.
It is not a confirmed fact that the forensic medical examiner caught the virus from the body, but these professionals feel it is highly likely and that corpses do pose a risk for those managing them. And strict procedures should be upheld with forensic professionals wearing protective devices including a protective suit, gloves, goggles, cap and mask. The disinfection procedure used in operation rooms might also be recommended in pathology/forensic units too.
There is still no confirmed information on how long COVID-19 remains in the body. Which is why many death care organizations around the world are warning for extreme caution.
Unsurprising for many death care workers coronavirus continues to be a threat even after the passing of the host. Stressing the importance for death care workers to globally be listed as critical workers who require the appropriate PPE.