The Symptoms Of Rabies In Edgar Allen Poe's Death

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Extra! Extra! The greatest American author is dead! On October 3rd, 1849, Edgar Allen Poe was found unconscious outside of a tavern in Baltimore, Maryland. He had been exposed to the frigid elements for an unknown amount of time and many speculated that he had been drinking. Despite these very obvious sicknesses, something else was taking hold inside Poe’s body. In spite of the claims of alcohol poisoning and encephalitis, the great storyteller met his demise of rabies. One reason Poe died of rabies is because he had all of the symptoms of rabies. Some symptoms of rabies are confusion, memory loss and delirium. Other symptoms also match up, including that “Rabies victims frequently exhibit hydrophobia […] because it is painful to swallow” (Poe’s Death Is Rewritten as Case if Rabies, Not Telltale Alcohol 302). Poe not remembering who any of his relatives were, let alone noticing them, is a strong example of memory loss. To sum up, no other disease that was present in Poe’s day could include all of these symptoms, including something as extreme of fearing water.…show more content…
The doctor that saw to Poe in the Baltimore hospital, Dr. Moran, changed his initial diagnosis from encephalitis to alcoholism when he became a temperance advocate later in his life. Dr. Benitez, the inception of the rabies theory, showed his astonishment with the case when he said, “Then it dawned on me that E.P. was Edgar Poe.” (Poe’s Death Is Rewritten as Case of Rabies, Not Telltale Alcohol 303). Benitez concluded the cause of Poe’s death without the bias that doctors of Poe’s time held and without even knowing that he was dealing with Poe! Dr. Benitez’s diagnosis is clearly the most accurate because he did not know Poe or his habits and based it solely on

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