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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Mozart is dead, either way

He prayeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small.
The Streptococcus is the test –
I love it least of all.
The provenance of this versicle is hard to trace, but it appears to have been the work of a Canadian physician, Wallace Wilson, and it was supposedly written in a letter to Dr. E.P. Scarlett, somewhere around 1920s.

Some years ago, I was zeroing in on it when I suffered a catastrophic hard disc crash, and I never got back to the search. Tomorrow, I must do so. No, I really will, because this matters.

I was reminded of it when I read one of those articles which make me regret that I never studied medicine. Medical gentlemen (they all seem to be male) of a certain age, spend inordinate amounts of delicious time, teasing out the real reason why X or Y died, and how they died. Alexander the Great, Claudius (emperor) and do on.  Nobody ever cares why Oddsocks the Bootboy died, but that's life (Or do I mean death?)

Anyhow, some time ago, an email brought me an article, Small “epidemic” may have killed Mozart. This outlines a plausible likely cause of Mozart's death.

Forget Salieri and poison, forget all of the conspiracy theories: it seems that what took him off was a streptococcal infection. I won't steal their thunder: go there and read the article, to see how the authors, Richard Zeger of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam and his colleagues, nailed it with a fair degree of certainty.

Mozart died at 35: just think what else he might have written, given even five more years!

I definitely loveth the Streptococcus least of all.

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