Lord help my poor Soul (Silverman, 9). The last words of the well-known horror writer Edgar Allan Poe. His death remains one of the great mysteries of American literature. There are theories that show the possible explanation for his death. However, the most accurate theories would be death from rabies, a disease people can get when they are bitten or scratched by an infected animal. Because it perfectly matches to Poes medical condition in his final days and the circumstances he was found in.
At the hospital of Washington Medical College, Poe showed various kinds of symptoms many of which related to rabies. Dr. Benitez, a cardiologist practicing a block from Poes grave, in Associated Press states that In the brief period when he was calm and awake, Poe refused alcohol and could drink water only with great difficulty (Press, 6). According to Dr. Benitez, victims of this disease have hydrophobia, in simple words fear of water since it is painful to swallow and his struggle for swallowing water is a solid piece of evidence he had rabies.
Moreover, In the Associated Press, Dr. Benitez said: But by the next day was perspiring heavily, hallucinating, and shouting at imaginary companions (Press, 3). Symptoms Dr. Moran noted. When he was hospitalized, on the fourth day, he grew confused and belligerent, then quieted down and died. The victim may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and insomnia in the later stages of the disease. Because he was already experiencing these traits in his early days in the hospital thus he had rabies and progress had occurred.
Additionally, this was a common and fatal disease at Poes time of death. In Dr. Benitez response to Professor Pollin and Benedettos article, he states Bat-related sub-types of rabies have been identified in 15 cases of human since 1980, although patient contact of any sort with bats could be documented in only 7 of these patients (Benitez, 2). Together with, his death in Maryland which has a high population of little brown bats, it could be easily deduced that he died from rabies since bats are one of the leading cause of rabies and only seven in fifteen people could remember they had contact with a bat; Comparatively, Dr. Benitez also stated, Poe contracted rabies from her, although it is worth noting that there was no available vaccine for pets at time (Benitez, 4). Dr. Benitez is explaining Poe could have got rabies from his cat, Caterina. It is not confirmed that he got rabies from his cat but, the most decisive detail is that there was not any vaccine for pets or animals so just a little scratch or bites from an infected animal could lead to rabies.
To conclude, Poes death remains a mystery. Though there is a debate about his death but the theory of rabies is well supported by details such as his medical condition and ordinariness of the disease. But, the debates are about an agreeable solution of such a mystery perhaps an unexpected answer is yet to unfold.