This infection is interesting because of the high death-rate and the frequency with which the condition is overlooked until too late for surgical interference. It is looked on as a rare condition, though it is more frequent than one would suppose. There have been three cases at the City Hospital since June 1, 1910, with three recoveries.
To Maissonneuve and Pirogoff is due the credit for the first clinical descriptions of the disease. Maissonneuve, writing in 1853, called the disease gangrène foudroyante, but it was not until 1891 that Dr. Welch discovered and described the organism. There has been much confusion as regards this organism and its pathologic processes, even the latest text-books giving little space to a clear description of this definite infection and its danger to life.
The most frequent sources from which the organisms may be obtained are the intestinal tracts of mammals and the soil, although
HEWITT WR. BACILLUS AEROGENES CAPSULATUS INFECTIONS, WITH REPORT OF TEN CASES. JAMA. 1911;LVI(13):959-962. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560130023011