Dispelling the myth: Dead bodies do not cause epidemics in a disaster

04 May 2015
Dispelling the myth: Dead bodies do not cause epidemics in a disaster
Two bodies excavated at Kolache-2, Bhaktapur district in Nepal. Sailendra Kharel / IFRC

There is a widespread myth that dead bodies cause epidemics in a disaster. This is not the case; the bodies of people who have died in a disaster do not spread disease.

After a disaster, the top priority is to look after the living. Rushing to bury the dead diverts resources away from rescue efforts and can make it impossible to identify bodies later.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions on dealing with dead bodies in a disaster.

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