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September 1976

Did George Washington Die of Quinsy?

Arch Otolaryngol. 1976;102(9):519-521. doi:10.1001/archotol.1976.00780140051001

• After his second term as first president of the United States, George Washington retired to his Mount Vernon estate in 1796. It was there that he suddenly fell ill and died in December of 1799 after an illness lasting only 21 hours. His problem was first diagnosed as "quinsy" and later modified to "Cynanche trachealis." A review of the signs, symptoms, and clinical course of his fatal illness suggests that the cause of death was most likely an otolaryngologic emergency known as "acute epiglottitis."

(Arch Otolaryngol 102:519-521, 1976)

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