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A 77-year-old splenectomised woman presented with temperatures reaching 38.5°C in the last 24 hours. The clinical presentation was non-specific and blood tests came back normal: a diagnosis of acute gastroenteritis was made. The patient’s clinical state then deteriorated rapidly; she developed septic shock, acute renal failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation and purpura fulminans with peripheral necrosis of toes and fingers (figure 1 A,B), as complications of a pneumococcaemia. Following appropriate antibiotic therapy and supportive …