In September 1997, Dr. Juan Gomez-Alonso, a Spanish neurologist at Xeral Hospital in Vigo, created a parallel between vampirism and rabies.
After watching Dracula, he was inspired and based his theories on what he knew about the disease.
Gomez-Alonso did research and found that about 25% of rabid men had a higher tendency to bite others.
He even found that historically, early stories of vampirism coincided with reports of rabies outbreaks in and around the Balkans and stretched through rabies epidemics in dogs, wolves, and other animals in Hungary from 1721-1728.
Similar to vampires, rabies victims often suffer.
- Hypersensitive to odors and light.
- Enormous thirst.
- Avoid looking at themselves in mirrors.
- Muscle spasms that can cause bared teeth.
- Froth bloody fluid at the mouth.
- Engage in ferocious, aggressive behavior.
- Can infect others through a bite, as the rabies virus is transmitted through saliva.
Dr. Gomez-Alonso was not the first to try to connect stories of vampires to a real disease; in 1985, Canadian biochemist, David Dolphin, created a link between vampirism and porphyria– a blood disorder characterized with irregular production of heme.