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.
- ‘Common skin infections include cellulitis, erysipelas, impetigo, folliculitis, and furuncles and carbuncles.’
- ‘It was this analogy that drove him on to study cholera, anthrax, erysipelas and finally rabies, culminating in the development of the rabies vaccine.’
- ‘He had developed erysipelas at the site of a mosquito bite, which resulted in septicaemia and pneumonia.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek erusipelas; perhaps related to eruthros ‘red’ and pella ‘skin’.
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