Safe Burial

What is a Safe Burial?

During any Ebola outbreak, all dead bodies are considered potentially infectious, and are tested post-mortem for the disease. The bodies of people who die from Ebola are highly infectious, so strict infection prevention and control is necessary. Burial teams tasked with picking up bodies from homes and villages are required to wear personal protective gear. In the case of an ETU death, the hospital hygiene team takes the body to the morgue until time for burial. 

However, these strict procedures don't account for cultural and religious customs. In the West African epidemic, they were later adapted to allow family members and communities more opportunities to participate in burial rituals without risking exposure to Ebola.

This visual aid provides instructions for what to do when someone dies at home to follow prevention protocol.

Allow Safe Burial Visual Aid

Allow for Safe Burial When Someone Dies at Home visual aid. Produced by CDC's Division of Creative Services
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Rao, Carol

Carol Rao

Carol Rao, deployed twice to Sierra Leone, first as an infection prevention specialist, then as a regulatory liaison for STRIVE, describes her experience accompanying a burial team in Sierra Leone. (Transcript)

Burial Teams in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Safe and Dignified Medical Burials, March 2015
Produced by SMAC

Mohamed S. Kamara, Safe Burial Team Leader with the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, takes us through the steps and rules of a safe and dignified burial.