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The TurnstoneA Doctor's Story$
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Geoffrey Dean

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780853237570

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314292

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The Curse of the Pharaohs

The Curse of the Pharaohs

(p.90) Chapter 9 The Curse of the Pharaohs
The Turnstone
Liverpool University Press

This chapter presents the author's account of a patient, John Wiles, who became ill after exploring a complex of caves in the Urungwe Native Reserve of Rhodesia. He recounts a similar illness affecting individuals who had been exposed to the fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum, which grew in the birds' manure. When the dried manure was disturbed, the dust was inhaled and the fungus caused a lung and general infection, histoplasmosis. These events also prompt the author to recall the so-called curse that was believed to be responsible for the death of Lord Carnarvon following the opening of Tutankhamen's tomb in the Valley of the Kings of Egypt. Evidence suggests that Lord Carnvarvon's death was due to inhalation of dust containing the fungus histoplasma from the dried bat droppings in the passage leading to King Tutankhamen's tomb.

Keywords:   Lord Carnarvon, Tutankhamen, tomb, fungus Rhodesia, Histoplasma capsulatum

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