A real and deadly disease, could have been inspired with the symptoms as described in the romance novels about vampires. (Credit: Alamy)
The victims of vampire attacks, and in the 19th-century novels, not the pale, swoon and waste away, showing a wide range of symptoms, which refers to the deadly attacks, a fanged, blood sucking predator.
However, the description of the symptoms are likely to be grounded in observations of actual medical conditions. In fact, the characteristics of a vampire attack is very similar to the symptoms caused by the cases of acute leukemia, according to a new study.
At the time, leukemia was not identified as a disease in the medical community. Perhaps this is the reason why the particular wide range of symptoms, the cause of which was unknown, and the inspired writers, to assign a supernatural explanation, the researchers recently reported.
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Leukemia is a form of cancer that affects the white blood cells. It is produced in the bone marrow, the cancer cells rapidly multiply and overpower the the the production and activity of normal white blood cells leads to anemia, and susceptibility to infection. In acute leukaemia, the disease progresses very rapidly and if not treated, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Their blood study, the researchers looked at three novels that form the basis of the popular vampire genre, “The Vampyre” by John William Polidori (1819), “Carmilla” by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1879), and “Dracula” by Bram Stoker (1897). The scientists have documented it for all of the characters that have been identified to be vampires, victims, and the drawing up of a list of symptoms, and the length of time the symptoms lasted. Next, the researchers compared the symptoms, which can be caused by a variety of diseases.
“The Vampyre” will be displayed, only two of the victims, in the absence of the symptoms leading up to their death. “Carmilla,” with three of the victims, all women, and they are displayed on standing fatigue, fever, pallor, dyspnea [breathing difficulties], and chest pain, as well as red spots on the skin of the breast, the scientists reported.
Published for more than a decade after “Carmilla”, “The”, it was filled with more of the details of the conditions below, the novel the three vampire victims, one of whom — Lucy Westenra — died, and a new lease on life as a vampire). All of the victims are suffering from “malaise, pallor, fatigue, anorexia, shortness of breath, loss of weight,” accompanied by a trance-like delusion is, according to the study.
‘Bloodless, but it is not anemic’
Some of these symptoms may be due to other diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial lung infection. However, TB was a well-known disease in the 19th century, and none of the fictional medical practitioners in the vampire novels, has been diagnosed patients with the DISEASE. All of this suggests that there may be other symptoms that are not consistent with what doctors would expect to find in a TB patient, the researchers wrote.
Diphtheria, a bacterial infection that can affect breathing and swallowing, it also produces similar symptoms to acute leukemia. But, in addition, it caused the cough, and discolored patches around the mouth and throat, and which have not been described in any of the novels.
A possible diagnosis of a vampire’s victim, it could be anemia, a shortage of red blood cells, which can lead to fatigue, and an unusual pallor. Again, in this condition, it is well-known, 19th-century doctors, and none of the doctors in the three novels suggest that it is for the vampire’s victims. In fact, the Westenra in “Dracula” has been defined as, “without the shedding of blood, but it is not anemic,” and its symptoms and general condition is “a classic example” of a patient who is suffering from acute leukemia, according to the study.
None of the other diseases are considered to be matched as well as acute leukemia,” the authors of the study said.
“We conclude, therefore, that it is the real life of the acute leukemia patients are very, very likely was the inspiration for the symptoms of the victims in the Gothic and vampire literature.”
The findings were published online Jan. 12 Irish Journal of Medical Science.
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Originally published on Live Science.