Since Sir James Paget, in 1684, presented a clinical lecture on the subject of scarlet fever as a sequel of operations, the possibility of such an occurrence has been generally recognized, and frequently discussed, diagnosed and reported. Numerous epidemics in hospitals have been recorded, besides isolated cases, as well as experimental inoculations. It has become evident to all, however, that in the earlier days particularly much confusion has existed between true scarlet fever and scarlatiniform rashes, such as may result from septic infection or from drug intoxications, particularly carbolic acid. Still there are undoubtedly instances of true scarlet fever following shortly after an operation. The possible explanations suggested have been that in surgical scarlet fever we have to do with a wound infection by the unknown virus of scarlet fever, or that the resistance of the body is lowered by the operation so that a latent infection with scarlet fever
SURGICAL SCARLATINA. JAMA. 1904;XLIII(9):613–614. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500090033011
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