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#70610 - 05/20/02 07:46 AM erysipelas
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I found this one in a delightful little book of essays about books that should be required reading for *all* members of this forum () - Ex Libris - Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman.
Anyway, my dictionary defines this as:
n. Pathol. an acute, febrile infectious disease, caused by a specific streptococcus, characterized by diffusely spreading deep-red inflammation of the skin or mucous membranes. [ME erisipila < L erysipelas < Gk = erysi- prob. akin to erythros red + -pelas prob. skin, akin to pelma sole of the foot; cf. L pellis skin]
Two questions ~ is this actually cited as a diagnosis, or is the patient more typically told "You have a form of strep"? Also, is the erythros given in the eytmology relative somehow to the name of the penicillin alternative erythromycin? My dictionary gives no etymological justification for that one...
#70611 - 05/20/02 09:42 AM Re: erysipelas
Erysipelas is indeed a medical diagnosis. Fortunately it is not common today. Better hand washing has helped. And it seems that there are changes in the genetic makeup of bacteria that explain changes in prevalence of various types of streptococcal infection.
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