Even after death, COVID-19 could be contagious, a new report finds.
A forensic practitioner working in Bangkok, Thailand, most likely caught the virus from a deceased patient, according to the report, which was posted online April 11 as a preprint for the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine.
The forensic practitioner later died of the virus, marking the first case on record of a “COVID-19 infection and death among medical personnel in a forensic medicine unit,” the researchers wrote in the report.
At the time the report was written on March 19, just 272 people in Thailand—including the forensic practitioner and a nurse assistant—had tested positive for the new coronavirus. Most of these cases were imported, meaning they weren’t from community spread, the researchers wrote. So, it’s unlikely that the forensic practitioner caught the new coronavirus outside of work or even from a patient at the hospital, the researchers wrote.