31 Mar 2015
March 31, 2015

PEAI General Meeting, 9th May 2015

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PEAI General Meeting, 9th May 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues a guidance document for the safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients.

About Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

Ebola is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebola virus species, four of which are known to cause disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.

Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.

The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus remains unknown. However, on the basis of evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and that bats are the most likely reservoir. Four of the five virus strains occur in an animal host native to Africa.

Please click link for the Guidance document Guidance for Safe Handling of Human Remains of Ebola Patients in US Hospitals and Mortuaries


Environmental Cleaning Guidance for Potential Ebola Contamination for Non-healthcare Settings

This guidance note is intended to give advice for the cleaning and decontamination of surfaces and objects that may have been potentially infected/contaminated by a suspected or confirmed case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in a settings other than healthcare facilities.

There is an extensive, ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa, affecting a number of countries. Such is the extent of this current outbreak, that the World Health Organization has declared the situation to be a public health emergency of international concern. It remains unlikely but not impossible that a returning traveller could introduce the disease into Ireland. Ebola is caused by infection with a virus which is spread by direct contact with blood and body fluids from infected people.

Most people who get infected with EVD have had close contact with a person with symptomatic Ebola infection and have not used appropriate personal protective equipment. The risk of acquiring Ebola virus from the environment is very low, and is negligible if appropriate personal protective equipment (gloves etc – see below) is used.

Contaminated Surfaces and objects

People infected with Ebola are infectious only once they have developed symptoms. These include fever, headache, diarrhoea and vomiting. Once symptomatic, all body fluids such as blood, urine, faeces, vomitus, sweat, saliva and semen are infectious. Using appropriate precautions, the following should be cleaned:
•All surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
•All potentially contaminated areas where the suspected/confirmed Ebola case has been once he/she has become symptomatic, including toilets and other high contact surfaces such as door handles and telephones
•Clothing and linen used by the suspected/confirmed case should be set aside pending assessment by a healthcare professional

Public areas where the suspected/confirmed Ebola case has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids do not need to be specially cleaned and disinfected.

Precautions to be taken by people carrying out cleaning procedures associated with suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola
•Broken skin should be covered with waterproof dressings (eg cuts with plasters)
•Closed shoes should be worn during the cleaning procedures
•Arms and legs should be covered – long sleeves tucked into gloves and trousers tucked into socks
•Gloves should be worn and disposed of after the cleaning is completed
•Care should be taken to avoid splashing of body fluids
•Disposable cleaning materials such as mops, paper towels and cloths should be used
•Hands should be thoroughly and completely washed with soap and water after the cleaning is completed and immediately after gloves are removed.

If any clothes become splashed by body fluids, remove them immediately and shower. Soiled clothing should be managed as detailed below. Inform your GP – you will be given advice about monitoring for symptoms as appropriate. Most suspected cases are very unlikely to have Ebola infection 

Cleaning of surfaces and objects
Surfaces and objects which are not visibly soiled should be cleaned with detergent/soap and water, allowed to dry and then disinfected.

For visibly soiled surfaces and objects, body fluids should be wiped away with disposable towels until they are visibly clean, cleaned with detergent/soap and water, allowed to dry and then disinfected. Toilets, including flush and door handles, should be also be disinfected. Bleach is a suitable disinfectant. Typical household bleach needs to be diluted before use – mix1 25mls (generally 5 capfuls) to 5 litres of water. For flat surfaces like floors, bleach should be left for a few minutes before wiping off to maximise its action. Wipe dry with paper towels. Avoid direct contact between bleach and skin/eyes. Do not mix bleach with anything other than cold tap water. Put all non-essential soiled items in to impermeable waste bags, secure and put aside in a safe undisturbed place until the suspected case has been assessed by a healthcare professional.

Soft furnishings and mattresses do not need to be specially cleaned if they are not visibly soiled. If soiled, they should be put aside in an undisturbed room until the suspected case has been assessed by a healthcare professional.

Clothing, linen and other objects

Clothing, linen and other objects such as telephones should be put in to impermeable waste bags, secured and stored in a safe undisturbed place until the suspected case has been assessed by a healthcare professional.


All waste, including used cleaning equipment such as gloves, paper towels and mops, should be put into impermeable waste bags, secured and stored in a safe undisturbed place until the suspected case has been assessed by a healthcare professional. Advice on its disposal should be sought from the local Department of Public Health.

Actions after the suspected case has been assessed

Most suspected cases in the Ireland are unlikely to have Ebola. Waste and other objects including clothing should be kept aside until the suspected case has been assessed by a health care professional. This is likely to take a day or two in most circumstances. If Ebola is felt to be unlikely in the suspected case after a thorough risk assessment by a health professional , no further special action needs to be taken for the waste and isolated objects.


Avian influenza death confirmed in Alberta


Health Minister Fred Horne released the following statement today regarding Alberta’s first rare and isolated case of avian influenza.


Results that were received from the provincial laboratory on Monday, and confirmed by the National Microbiology Laboratory on Tuesday, indicate that an Albertan has died from H5N1 avian influenza.


This individual travelled to China in December. Upon returning to Alberta, this person was admitted to hospital on Jan. 1 and passed away on Jan. 3.


“I would like to extend my condolences to the family for the loss of their loved one. I also want to thank our health care workers and our Chief Medical Officer of Health for their swift action and for their close co-ordination with the Government of Canada,” said Health Minister Fred Horne.


“This is a very rare and isolated case,” said Dr. James Talbot, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Avian influenza is not easily transmitted from person to person. It is not the same virus that is currently present in seasonal influenza in Alberta.


“Public health has followed up with all close contacts of this individual and offered Tamiflu as a precaution. None of them have symptoms and the risk of developing symptoms is extremely low. Precautions for health care staff were also taken as part of this individual’s hospital treatment.


“I expect that with the rarity of transmission and the additional precautions taken, there will be no more cases in Alberta.”


In 2013, there were 38 world-wide cases of H5N1 avian influenza reported to the World Health Organization and 24 deaths.


Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta’s resources to ensure we’re able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.


Related information


Avian influenza resources:


Alberta Health website




Canadian Food Inspection Agency


World Health Organization


SOURCE: http://alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=3565183693F2C-9E0D-1406-AF11D53248E7B8B2#media-contacts


PEAI Donates Aid to Typhoon Haiyan Victims

The Philippines suffered a massive destruction last November 8th when Typhoon Haiyan poured all its rage in central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan is recorded as one of the most powerful storms to make landfall which caused catastrophic damage.

The impact of the storm surge has been tremendous causing more than 5,000 people to have lost their lives, over 27,000 were injured, almost 2,000 people were reported missing and an estimated 800,000 are displaced after Typhoon Haiyan left a wake of utter destruction.

The Professional Embalmers’ Association of Ireland together with the Deathcare Academy of Ireland in partnership with local volunteers in the Philippines have identified communities is the remote villages of the town of Dumarao in Capiz Province who have not received any form of support from the local or national government nor from any other agencies. The residents of Barangay Dacuton, Barangay Sibariwan and Barangay Aglanot including two primary schools and one secondary school were the recipients of the donations.

The local residents have been pleading for help in constructing temporary shelters for their families. Local schools are struggling with their classes since the storm had completely ruined the school’s gymnasium and ruined the galvanized iron roofing of the buildings. ‘Our students want to come to school but we do not have any place to hold the classes because the roofs were blown away by the storm. We have divided the students into two groups composing of different grades or year levels. Then we ask each group to come only every other day in order to accommodate all of them.’ explained by one of the school staff of Dacuton Elementary School. The residents were screaming for tents, nails and other materials that they can use to build a temporary shelter.

Our partner organisation gathered 40 volunteers and formed 5 teams who went out to the schools and helped build temporary roofs for the school buildings. Tents, nails and wires were distributed to the families of the three recipient villages. Bags of food, clothing and blankets were also distributed. The students in Dacuton were very happy and grateful to receive their packs of copy papers, notebooks and pens.

Please follow the link to view our video documentary of the Philippines Appeal.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IbuSRr8LLs&feature=youtu.be

EU Commission Issues Guidance Document on Embalming & Taxidermist Products

Guidance document on the evaluation of efficacy of embalming products (PT22)

These Technical Notes for Guidance were endorsed during the 52nd CA meeting for release for a 6-month consultation period of stakeholders.
All comments should be sent to ENV-BIOCIDES@ec.europa.eu by 31 December 2013.

At the end of this consultation period, these Technical Notes for Guidance would, if appropriate, be revised on the basis of the comments received.

In 2012, FR published a national guidance for efficacy and as discussed in TMII 2012, this guidance was translated and FR proposes to submit it for comments to other Member States. The purpose is to include it to the Appendices to chapter 7 from TNsG on Product Evaluation. Indeed, at the moment, no appendice for PT22 exist.

This guidance was presented at TM I 2013 for the first time and, after some minor revisions, again at TMII2013. At this last TM, this guidance has endorsed.

The Competent Authorities are requested to agree that this Guidance Document should now be released for a six-month consultation of stakeholders.

Click links to view full contents.

Efficacy Assessment of Embalming Products (CA-July13-Doc.6.2.d)

Review Program of Active Substances (CA-July13-Doc.8.3)

17 Sep 2013
September 17, 2013

PEAI Educational Seminar- 2nd October 2013

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We will be holding our Educational Seminar on the day of our General Meeting which will take place during the Funeral Times Trade Show in Citywest Hotel, Dublin. Please take note that the seminar will take place in October 2, 2013 starting at 12:00 noon until 1:00pm.

Come and be informed!