A 47-year-old male was admitted with a 5-day history of painful, red, swollen legs, and 48 hours of intermittent sweats and rigors. His only previous medical history was Perthe's disease of the right hip at the age of 8 years. He had no allergies and there was no family history. He was taking ampicillin at a dose of 500 mg t.d.s., as prescribed by his general practitioner. He had a temperature of 39°C on admission. Physical examination proved normal, apart from the area of skin over both ankles and the lower right leg, which was swollen, red, hot and tender.
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