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Tallestsniper
11-11-2011, 1:59 AM
Senerio: Virus hits. Millions die. Bodys rot. How long before it is safe to return to previously populated areas considering the diseases brought on by decomp?

swilson
11-11-2011, 9:10 AM
It depends on the climate. A body getting crispy and mummifying in the blistering sun in Death Valley will take very little time to dry out, not that you'd want to break open the body cavity and take deep breaths afterward.

A body in a humid temeperate climate, especially indoors would take a long time to decompose. A body that is frozen during a snow storm in a cold climate will need to thaw as the snow melts and then decompose.

Instead of waiting it out you'd have to treat the area like your basement after a sweage backup or flood damage. A populated area with bodies strewn around decomposing indoors and out would need to be cleaned. A full-body suit with a respirator would be necessary, and you'd simply have to remove and dispose of the remains (cremation to kill bacteria and viruses) and remove carpeting, furniture, wallboard, upholstry, porous wood, and other materials that have been in contact with and soaked up fluids of the rotting bodies, burn them as well, and sterilyze the area with cleaning agents and steam.

Got Stuff?
11-11-2011, 11:45 AM
Something outside in a humid, temperate climate that is easily accessible to insects, animals and the environment decomposes pretty quickly. The colder the climate, the slower the process. The number of insects and other scavengers being the biggest factors and is largely defined by location and climate.

Librarian
11-11-2011, 12:36 PM
Google " after-disaster body disposal ".

Moderately grim.

calmedic
11-11-2011, 1:32 PM
Id be more concerned about whatever bug killed everyone. Generally speaking, viuses don't do well outside of a host but bacteria can lie dormant for years. If you had to go back bring a respirator and perferably a hazmat suit of some sort. This is what I keep in the BOB it works for everything from dust, to pepper spray to chem/bio weapons depending on the canisters you use and you can use a single canister which enables you to operate a rifle www.msanorthamerica.com/catalog/product579.html
You will neeed to get these fitted for them to be effective, but worth the hassle IMO.

cannon
11-11-2011, 6:34 PM
Scenario is that millions die. I'd guess that people,equipment and chemicals needed to clean the area are in short supply. If so, then you'd be depending on animals, birds, insects enzymes etc. to dispose of the remains.

Out here in the desert if a coyote is hit and killed on a secondary road the carcass lasts about ten days on the side of the road.

the_natterjack
11-11-2011, 8:45 PM
Something I remember from CERT training class, don't worry about dead bodies too much. Unless they had some sort of communicable disease they won't suddenly begin spewing disease and viruses from their decomposing bodies.

Help the living.

Brian

problemchild
11-11-2011, 8:53 PM
Cant you can them? I have plenty of empty jars and lids.

TKM
11-11-2011, 9:00 PM
PC thinking outside the box again.

The Soviets, Germans and French had many thousands of acres covered with offal and red mud. It's horrific but nothing that humans haven't dealt with many many times.

wjc
11-12-2011, 8:33 PM
This will help remove the problem... :D

122389

Lone_Gunman
11-12-2011, 9:56 PM
This will help remove the problem... :D

122389

Exactly what I was thinking. It'd need to be mass graves if you had the manpower and mass cremations if manpower was short.

QQQ
11-13-2011, 12:32 PM
Cant you can them? I have plenty of empty jars and lids.

haha I love it. Let nothing go to waste!

But from a public health perspective, you are almost certainly okay as long as you don't actually personally handle the bodies.

Here's a really good article on the subject from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_risks_from_dead_bodies

Hell; you'd probably be safer in an area full of virus victim corpses than in a heavily-populated area during an epidemic.

TheChief
11-13-2011, 7:21 PM
Interesting articles. Based on a number of articles online, I understand that dead bodies will not of them selves spread disease but that it is more likely the living survivors and the conditions they live in that will likely cause diseases.


http://reliefweb.int/node/140098

http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/icrc_002_0880.pdf

wjc
11-14-2011, 3:21 PM
Interesting articles. Based on a number of articles online, I understand that dead bodies will not of them selves spread disease but that it is more likely the living survivors and the conditions they live in that will likely cause diseases.


http://reliefweb.int/node/140098

http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/icrc_002_0880.pdf

I'm not sure I'd be that confident.

Bodies with ebola, Bubonic plague, or any of the other hemoraghic or highly contagious diseases would get a couple of spurts from a flamethrower just for good measure.

"If in doubt...flame it out"