During the medical history review, which findings might offer a clue to cellulitis etiology?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

If the patient recalls an episode of trauma, the clinician should ask about circumstances surrounding the incident that may elicit clues to a particular etiology. For example, exposure to standing or brackish water could mean that Aeromonas or Vibrio is the cause of infection; or a cut that occurred while butchering may be an important clue to consider Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. Identifying the specific inciting cause helps the clinician identify the most likely pathogen, choose appropriate antibiotic therapy, and offer appropriate immunization, such as tetanus toxoid (Td or Tdap), if indicated.


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