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New autopsy guides for rabies victims.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new recommendations for autopsy procedures involving people who have died from rabies.

Published in the April 9 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the recommendations were developed after CDC officials performed an autopsy on an Indiana man who died of rabies at a Kentucky hospital. Local pathologists did not perform the autopsy because of concerns about potential infection and contamination of autopsy facilities.

"We often hear concerns about the risk of rabies virus exposure to pathologists and others who perform autopsies," said Brett Petersen, MD, MPH, lead author of the report and a member of the CDC Rabies Team. "Following these recommendations can help ensure that the risk remains small and appropriate response efforts are initiated."

The recommendations include using personal protective equipment as well as heavy gloves to help prevent cuts or sticks from cutting instruments or bone fragments and to use ample amounts of a 10 percent sodium hypochlorite solution during and after an autopsy to ensure decontamination of all exposed surfaces and equipment.
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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Jun 22, 2010
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