Just in Case, Coroners Prepare for Ebola

Posted at 6:16 PM, Oct 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-02 12:38:22-05

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WAAY) - It's just a precaution, but with the ebola virus being found on U.S. soil, local officials are getting instructions on what to do if it does happen to make its way here.

It was confirmed Monday that doctors in Dallas had diagnosed the first ebola patient in the United States. Federal health officials are now closely monitoring several people who came in contact with the man.

Coroner Craig Whisenant said his office has been given guidelines on how to handle an ebola victim's body. The information went to coroners  and funeral home directors across the nation through a CDC bulletin issued by the National Funeral Directors Association.

If a person were to die from the deadly virus, Whisenant said there will be no autopsy or embalming performed, and the body would have to be buried immediately.

Whisenant said the steps are just a precaution, because the ebola virus can become more contagious in a victim's body after death.

To date, the CDC says no other cases of ebola have been discovered in the United States.