Researchers suggest the composer died of a step infection.
Press Release Service – Wired PR News – The reason for sudden death of Mozart in 1791 has remained a mystery for over 200 years. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), researchers have recently found that the Austrian composer may have fallen ill with a streptococcal infection that resulted in kidney failure.
Dr. Richard Zegers of the University of Amsterdam, who helped author the study, is quoted by the AP as stating, “We saw that at the time of Mozart’s death there was a minor epidemic in deaths involving edema (swelling), which also happened to be the hallmark of Mozart’s final disease.”
Dr. William Schaffner a Vanderbilt University Medical Center infectious disease expert, who did not take part in the study, is further quoted in the report as stating of the findings, “It’s not definitive, but it’s certainly food for thought…Serious streptococcal infections were much more common than they are now and, indeed, they had very serious complications…This is sure to set off many discussions going forward.”
More information about the study may be found in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
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Photo Credit: Doris Stock (found in Wikipedia public domain)