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HomeLatest NewsScientist explains whether Egyptian mummies are dangerous - Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Scientist explains whether Egyptian mummies are dangerous – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 04:23:54

Piers Mitchell, director of the Ancient Parasites Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, has assessed the potential threat posed by ancient Egyptian mummies. Recent studies have shown that they could theoretically contain pathogenic bacteria.

Could bacteria or viruses lurking in ancient Egyptian mummies cause an epidemic today? Do mummies contain pathogens that can be transmitted to humans today?

Recent studies of mummies have shown that ancient Egyptians were susceptible to many infectious diseases. Traces of smallpox, tuberculosis and leprosy were found in tissues and remains.

For example, it was recently revealed that Pharaoh Ramses V died of smallpox, as indicated by the characteristic smallpox scars found on his mummified body.

Meanwhile, smallpox has been considered an eradicated disease since 1980, when the World Health Organization declared it. Against the backdrop of archaeological discoveries, fears have arisen that smallpox and other dangerous diseases, “dormant” for thousands of years along with mummies, may return to our world.

However, Piers Mitchell, in an interview with the scientific resource Live Science, said that this is extremely unlikely. Most parasite species die within one to two years without a living host to attach to, he said.

“If you wait more than 10 years, everything will die,” the scientist stressed, noting that viruses such as smallpox can only reproduce in the cells of a living host. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis and leprosy also need living hosts to survive.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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