A tourist expo in Mexico City is displaying a half-dozen bodies of cholera victims who were accidentally mummified in the 1800s in a freak natural disaster. The bodies have a fungus growing on them that could potentially be harmful to visitors. Experts have cautioned that preserved bodies being displayed without the proper safeguards against biohazards could pose a risk to public health.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico expressed concern about the exhibit, stating that the mummies may have “fungal growths” that could spread to tourists. Some of the bodies still have hair, leathery skin, and their original attire, while one appears to have fungus growths.

The mummies were interred in crypts in dry, mineral-rich earth in the state of Guanajuato and were accidentally mummified. They were dug up and displayed beginning in the 1860s because their families could no longer afford funeral costs. They are part of a larger collection of mummies on display at the Museo de las Momias in Guanajuato’s state capital.

The Mexican government is concerned that the glass cases holding the mummies may not be airtight and that the bodies are being exhibited without proper safeguards against biohazards. Visitors to the Museo de las Momias pay £2 to view more than 100 desiccated human cadavers that have been disinterred from tombs in the graveyard next door.

While natural mummification is a rare process that occurs under specific circumstances, it can preserve pathogens along with the body. Therefore, the experts are concerned that the mummies could potentially spread fungal infections to visitors.

The display style of the mummies has long drawn social criticism. “They are just regular people who are repositories of information about the period they lived in,” said one expert. “They walked these streets; they went to the old market. They shouldn’t be a freak show.”

In conclusion, experts and the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico are calling for a thorough examination of the mummies to determine whether they pose a threat to public health. The government has also been urged to implement proper safeguards to ensure the safety of visitors to the exhibit.

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