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Word Count: 1,248
Early one summer morning in the 18th century a father and son sat down to breakfast Young Marston Hodgin said to his father Father dear Ive a bloody awful backache and my face is a bit flushed Marston Hodgin Sr stared at his son in astonishment and horror Son what ave you there Those oozy dots on your face give me a bit of a fright To your bed The first known death from smallpox occurred in 1157 BC when Egyptian pharaoh Ramses V died with no explanation There was great mystery surrounding his death because unlike most pharaohs who were buried after 70 days Ramses was not buried for almost two entire years Many think that this was because either the first time the embalmers tried to prepare him to be laid to rest his body was still contagious and they contracted the disease Due to either fear of the body or lack of more embalmers the job was delayed Another popular theory is that they knew that the possessions and even the body of those who died from this not yet known disease were contagious for a long period after their death and that the embalmers just didnt want to take the risk of incurring this disease We suspect that this disease was smallpox because during a thorough inspection of Ramses Vs body by twentieth century scientists pustules much like those caused by smallpox were found on the well preserved face neck and arms Smallpox is an extremely contagious often terminal virus There are four phases the first of which is incubation This period lasts 12 days and the infected person becomes contagious on the third day During this period the virus begins to infect the body starting in the victims lymph glands and liver and from that point the infected cells multiplied so greatly that they contaminated the skin cells and the second phase began The second phase is marked by
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