One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An acute, sometimes recurrent disease caused by a bacterial infection. It is characterized by large, raised red patches on the skin, especially that of the face and legs, with fever and severe general illness.
This is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, a Gram-positive coccus
- ‘Common skin infections include cellulitis, erysipelas, impetigo, folliculitis, and furuncles and carbuncles.’
- ‘He had developed erysipelas at the site of a mosquito bite, which resulted in septicaemia and pneumonia.’
- ‘It was this analogy that drove him on to study cholera, anthrax, erysipelas and finally rabies, culminating in the development of the rabies vaccine.’
- ‘The incidence of erysipelas is rising, especially in young children, the elderly, persons with diabetes, alcoholic persons, and patients with compromised immune systems or lymphedema.’
- ‘Billroth, a German surgeon, is credited with first identifying, in 1874, streptococci isolated from a patient with erysipelas, which was a very common disease in that time, but rare today.’
Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek erusipelas; perhaps related to eruthros ‘red’ and pella ‘skin’.
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