New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin told the press yesterday that "we know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water" and warned that thousands in the city may have died during Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding. Do these dead bodies pose a threat to the survivors? In August 1999, David Plotz explained that decomposing corpses are "only a danger to public health if the victim dies of an infectious disease," and that the threat posed by the bodies of victims of trauma—typically the major cause of death in natural disasters—is "negligible."
TODAY IN SLATE
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.