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PART 4

IV. Many were attacked by the erysipelas all over the body when the exciting cause was a trivial accident or a very small wound ; especially when the patients were about sixty years old and the wound was in the head, however little the neglect might have been. Many even while undergoing treatment suffered from severe inflammations,1 and the erysipelas would quickly spread widely in all directions. Most of the patients experienced abscessions ending in suppurations. Flesh, sinews and bones

[p. 243] fell away in large quantities. The flux which formed was not like pus, but was a different sort of putre-faction with a copious and varied flux. If any of these symptoms occurred in the head, there was loss of hair from all the head and from the chin ; the bones were bared and fell away, and there were copious fluxes. Fever was sometimes present and sometimes absent. These symptoms were terrifying rather than dangerous. For whenever they resulted in suppuration or some similar coction the cases usually recovered. But whenever the inflammation and the erysipelas disappeared without producing any such abscession, there were many deaths. The course of the disease was the same to whatever part of the body it spread. Many lost the arm and the entire forearm. If the malady settled in the sides there was rotting either before or behind. In some cases the entire thigh was bared, or the shin and the entire foot. But the most dangerous of all such cases were when the pubes and genital organs were attacked. Such were the sores which sprang from an exciting cause. In many cases, however, sores occurred in fevers, before a fever, or supervening on fevers. In some of these also, when an abscession took place through suppuration, or when a seasonable disturbance of the bowels occurred or a passing of favourable urine, this gave rise to a solution ; but when none of these events happened, and the symptoms disappeared without a sign, death resulted. It was in the spring that by far the greater number of cases of erysipelas occurred, but they continued throughout the summer and during autumn.

[p. 245]

1 With Littré's punctuation the meaning is, "however slight the neglect, and even when a patient was actually undergoing treatment. There were severe inflammations," etc.

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