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State of body to delay autopsy results

| Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, 12:00 p.m.

The family of a Turtle Creek man, one of three people to die on the same day in a personal care home last fall in Forest Hills, might have to wait a couple of weeks to learn how he died.

Former Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht, who performed an autopsy on Aldo E. Giannini on Friday, said it could take a week or two for the results of microscopic analysis of tissue. Giannini's body was exhumed Thursday from Grandview Cemetery in North Versailles.

Giannini, a retired Postal Service employee, died Nov. 10 at Juniper Village in Forest Hills. He was 85. Two people in hospice care also died that day at Juniper.

Wecht said his work was "complicated" because the body had been embalmed and buried.

"(Blood and tissue) cultures are out the window," he said.

Giannini's family initially was told he died peacefully in his sleep. An aide at Juniper Village later told the family that Giannini was "so sick, he threw up about 10 times."

An outbreak of norovirus spread through the home the morning of Nov. 10. Several of Giannini's family members said they became ill while at the home. Allegheny County Health Department workers were investigating the outbreak while they were there.

Noroviruses, recognized as a leading cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States, can be spread through contaminated food, water or surfaces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Outbreaks involve people of all ages, in various settings.

The health department does not think norovirus played a part in the deaths.

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