Cross-Contamination After an Unattended Death

As annoying as blowflies can be when they buzz around our porches and land on our skin, these small insects help our world by processing the dead bodies of both people and animals. However, in the case of an unattended death when a person passes away and no one knows about it, this same process can create great harm if the person cleaning up afterward doesn’t know about the potential for cross-contamination as flies buzz around an enclosed space. For this reason, while death by itself is deeply tragic, the tragedy can extend even further if people don’t clean the entire area where the flies have landed.

To clean a space properly after someone has died and their body has started to decompose so everyone is safe from any resulting danger, the entire area must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated by professional biohazard cleaners.

Blowflies Can Contaminate an Entire Home

After unattended death in a home or business, most of the visible biohazards are located around the area where the body began to decompose. Whether the death was on a bed, in a chair, or on a floor, it often includes multiple layers of infected materials underneath the body. However, shortly after death, insects, especially the common blowfly, are then attracted to the decomposing body and land in any available holes in the skin to lay their eggs before continuing their journey. The adult fly knows the decomposing liquids will feed the resulting larva and the life cycle of the blowfly continues.

Once the fly lays the eggs, they then fly to other places in the home, landing on any number of available surfaces such as doors, walls, windows, dishware, and furniture. With the blood and body decomposition fluids on their legs and body, they then spread these dangerous liquids all over other surfaces in whatever rooms they can access. This is dangerous as any number of infectious diseases, viruses, bacteria, and bloodborne pathogens can be transported this way to surfaces that seem clean to the naked eye. Someone thinking that surface is safe may then become infected with a disease without being aware of it until it’s too late. Without cleaning the entire home, all the nooks and crannies where a blowfly and other insects could have landed, dangerous diseases can still lurk unseen.

Professional Biohazard Cleaners have the Needed Tools and Experience

To clean an area after an unattended death, you need professional biohazard cleaners as quickly as possible. The longer body fluids are left to seep into the surrounding layers, the more damage is done. A professional biohazard cleaning technician will not only know where to look to make sure all the layers of material underneath and around the body are cleaned and legally disposed of, they also have the skills to evaluate how extensive or limited cross-contamination may be. Using professional equipment and powerful cleaners, they then quickly clean and decontaminate the rest of the space so any residue left by the blowflies is remediated and any bloodborne pathogens are fully removed. Never attempt to clean up after an unattended death yourself. Without specialized training, experience, and equipment, you leave yourself and others open to infection and potential harm. Professional biohazard cleaning after an unattended death is covered by most home insurance policies.

If an Unattended Death has Happened on Your Property

If an unattended death has occurred on your property, call the authorities right away and wait for them outside. Do not spend time inside the house. Not only is the smell of a decomposing body overwhelming, but you do not know what surfaces, if any, are safe to touch nor do you want any infected insects landing on you. Make sure any windows and doors previously closed stay closed to prevent any further cross-contamination. Once this is done, call professional biohazard cleaners to alert them to the situation so they can be ready to clean once the police have released the scene and the coroner has removed the body. After the cleaning technicians arrive, they will seal off the contaminated area of the home to prevent further infection before thoroughly cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting the entire area, as well as permanently removing any lingering odor.

By knowing the danger of cross-contamination after an unattended death, you can help keep people safe both now and in the future.

Have Questions?

Our technicians at Georgia Clean are always available to answer any questions you may have or to cleanup after an unattended death. We’re always available, 24-7, at 770-766-4562.