In the numerous articles that have been written on erysipelas, a great variety of therapeutic agents have been recommended, most of which have eventually been proved to be ineffectual. Local remedies, comprising all sorts of ointments, compresses, lotions, the collodion ring, the surgical "fence" and, more recently, intravenous antiseptics, have been tried and found to be of no avail. Following Fehleisen's1 discovery of Streptococcus erysipelatis, antistreptococcal serums and vaccines were widely used, only to be discarded later. Recently, a specific serum has been made which gives great promise of proving an effective aid in combating the disease (Amoss,2 Rivers3 and Birkhaug4).
The interpretation of statistical data is likely to be particularly misleading unless one keeps clearly in mind the extreme variation in mortality in the different age groups. Between the ages of 5 and 50, the average mortality is considerably less than 4 per cent, whereas