Medical Investigation

Season 1 Episode 13


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 14, 2005 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A smallpox outbreak sends the NIH team to Montana. However, this disease was thought to have been eradicated - is the outbreak caused by terrorism, or is it natural?

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    Laura Marano

    Laura Marano

    Brooke Beck

    Guest Star

    Kevin Kilner

    Kevin Kilner

    Paul Maloney

    Guest Star

    Gil Birmingham

    Gil Birmingham

    Walter Shephard

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (4)

      • This week's disease: Smallpox

        Smallpox is caused by the variola virus and causes raised bumps on the face and body. It is a serious, contagious and sometimes fatal disease but it has been eradicated by a worldwide vaccination program. Once it was eliminated, vaccinations were no longer necessary.

        The last case of Smallpox in the US was in 1949, but the latest worldwide case was in Somalia in 1977.

      • The fact that the body had been frozen should have been obvious to any competent pathologist immediately. There are other factual anomalies about the body.
        1) Although the actual time line is not clear, the body probably had been exposed for several days. In fact, a body exposed by a glacier does not pop to the surface like an ice cube. Rather, it is gradually exposed to the elements a little bit at a time sometimes over several years. But there is no mention or appearance of decomposition.
        2) Stephen said that the hole in the body appeared to be from a .22. Most weapons from 170-200 years ago were fairly large caliber, often as big as .75 caliber (3/4 inch). Also, the bullet extracted was way to large for a .22 and had the appearance of a lead ball, not a modern bullet.
        3) The skin on the body was remarkable undamaged for having slid down the side of a mountain and floated down a mountain stream.

      • GOOF: Frank states that 170 years after John Doe and his family had died, their descendants fell ill to smallpox; however, Natalie had stated that John Doe had died over 200 years ago.

      • GOOF: Connor tells the team to where masks and gloves when entering the room of the smallpox patients, however Natalie and Miles are seen in the room without protection on.

    • QUOTES (3)

      • Natalie: What about you, Stephen, what's your worst nightmare?
        Stephen: To dream, I'd have to be able to sleep.

      • Frank: You think your tribal chairman is gonna give you grief about letting us take the body?
        Indian tribal sheriff: Probably, but I'll just tell them you stole it.

      • Frank: The Europeans arrived on this continent and decimate an entire race with a bug the natives have no immunity against. Then, 170 years later, the descendents get the same virus given right back to them.

    • NOTES (1)

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Stephen: It is not even listed in the Merck Manual anymore.

        Reference to 'The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy' (The Merck Manual or Merck's) is the world's best-selling medical textbook, now in its 18th edition.