These recommendations give guidance on the safe handling of human remains that may contain Ebola virus and are for use by personnel who perform postmortem care in U.S. hospitals and mortuaries. In patients who die of Ebola virus infection, virus can be detected throughout the body. Ebola virus can be transmitted in postmortem care settings by laceration and puncture with contaminated instruments used during postmortem care, through direct handling of human remains without appropriate personal protective equipment, and through splashes of blood or other body fluids (e.g. urine, saliva, feces) to unprotected mucosa (e.g., eyes, nose, or mouth) which occur during postmortem care.
- Only personnel trained in handling infected human remains, and wearing PPE, should touch, or move, any Ebola-infected remains.
- Handling of human remains should be kept to a minimum.
- Autopsies on patients who die of Ebola should be avoided. If an autopsy is necessary, the state health department and CDC should be consulted regarding additional precautions.