ROSWELL, GA – CBS46 News has confirmed the Centers for Disease Control has issued guidelines to U.S. funeral homes on how to handle the remains of Ebola patients. If the outbreak of the potentially deadly virus is in West Africa, why are funeral homes in America being given guidelines?
The three-page list of recommendations include instructing funeral workers to wear protective equipment when dealing with the remains since Ebola can be transmitted in postmortem care. It also instructs to avoid autopsies and embalming.
On Tuesday, the CDC confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States, a patient in Texas.
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Alysia English is Executive Director of the Georgia Funeral Directors Association, the oldest and largest funeral association in Georgia.
Georgia is comprised of 700 funeral homes and 2,000 funeral directors.
CBS46 asked English if Georgians should be alarmed by these guidelines.
“Absolutely not. In fact, if they weren’t hearing about it, they should be a whole lot more concerned,” said English.
She said Georgia has one of the country’s most thorough public health plans. That includes detailed planning for all hazards such as floods and the flu.
“If you were in the middle of a flood or gas leak, that’s not the time to figure out how to turn it off. You want to know all of that in advance. This is no different,” said English.
President Barack Obama addressed the Ebola crisis in a speech he delivered during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Sept. 16.
Three Americans have been treated for Ebola in Atlanta after evacuation from Africa. The most recent patient arrived in Atlanta on Sept. 9.
The two original American patients treated in Atlanta, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, were eventually discharged.