There are a number of theories rolling around about the specifics of the illness (kidney failure, parasite, disease) and with no autopsy there is no way to know for sure which is true. But, one running theory amongst scholars is a secondary flare up of the inflammatory disease acute rheumatic fever – as in the disease that I have (greeeaaat). But this new bit of trivia doesn’t make me too worried and here’s why...
In 1791, Mozart fell ill experiencing symptoms of pallor, weight loss, and painful swelling of the hands and feet (sound familiar). Unfortunately, Mozart was alive during a time of ill-thought-out medical practices and they did a bloodletting treatment to cure him of his ailments (whatever they may have been). But, even more unfortunately, bloodletting while suffering from severe inflammation apparently causes hemorrhagic shock and, in the 1790’s, there’s no coming back from that. So, the treatment intended to save the most gifted musical genius in history accidentally killed him.
Fortunately for me, bloodletting isn't in regular practice anymore so I don’t have to worry about that kind of medical mishap! Whoops!