Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Findings on the Death of Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart may have died at 35 from complications of strep throat in 1791. According to a Dutch study by researchers of the University of Amsterdam, Mozart may of been one of several citizens of Vienna who contracted a deadly kidney complication that stemmed from a strep throat infection during the winter of 1791.

The composer developed severe swelling and back pain that was consistent with a strep infection which led to kidney inflammation known as glomerulonephritis. Researcher Richard Zegers said witnesses may have thought it was possible Mozart may have had scarlet fever, but since his rash came at the end of his illness this was ruled out. With scarlet fever, a rash appears early on.

Previous reports of how Mozart died were thought to be less than reliable. On his death certificate is was officially stated that cause of death was Hitziges Friselfieber, also known as "heated miliary fever", a rash that looked like millet seeds. Is is also thought intentional poisoning, rheumatic fever or trichinosis (eating undercooked pork) were to blame.