For more than 200 years, there has been speculation about what killed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart so suddenly in 1791.
Was the 35-year-old composer poisoned? Could it have been kidney failure? A parasite?
A report in Tuesday's Annals of Internal Medicine suggests it might have been something far more common: a strep infection.
Researchers looked at death records in Mozart's Vienna in the months surrounding his death. The data suggests that there was a minor strep epidemic around that time, and some of Mozart's symptoms, including swelling and fever, could have come from strep , Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Meanwhile, his death has been a mystery since he died in December 1791. An account from his sister-in-law, Sophie Haibel, indicated his body was so swollen that he could not turn in bed, and he remained lucid until his final day. The symptoms are consistent with kidney failure, which sometimes follows strep infections ,Sydney Morning Herald reports.
"Deaths from edema were markedly increased among younger men in the weeks surrounding Mozart's death compared with the previous and following years," the study found. "This minor epidemic may have originated in the military hospital." , USA Today reports.
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