Fears that epidemics would follow the devastating Italian earthquake have proved unfounded, providing further evidence that unburied corpses no longer cause such outbreaks after natural disasters, the national Center for Disease Control says. But Dr. Stanley Music of the CDC believes that, despite the evidence, rumors of typhoid and cholera outbreaks will continue to follw natural disasters, prompting official efforts to "protect" survivors. "There has been evidence of epidemics in the past, but the evidence now suggests that this is no longer the case," said the deputy director of the CDC's field services division. "Even in the face of that, it will take another 20 years before the weight of evidence has an effect. It takes a long time for people to learn. Old habits die hard," he said. The earthquake last summer near Naples killed more than 2,600 people and injured more than 8,800, the CDC said. More than 30,000 people were left homeless. Cholera and typhoid outbreaks occurred with natural disasters in the past because many people killed already had the disease, Music said. But modern health techniques have sufficiently limited the diseases so they no longer are factors when disaster strikes, he said. "One of the first reactions to our hurricanes is typhoid vaccine, [ostensibly] because the water gets contaminated. It's nonsense," Music said.