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News2007June › Fever: It's probably viral, but it might be bacterial › June 2007

Fever: It's probably viral, but it might be bacterial

If your child has a very high fever, you probably assume it's a reaction to a viral infection

If your child has a very high fever, you probably assume it's a reaction to a viral infection. And you'd probably be right. But one out of every five cases is caused by a bacterial infection, as a new study has discovered.

Researchers reviewed the progress of 103 children who attended an emergency unit at an American hospital, and discovered that 19 had a bacterial infection. Of these, eight had a urinary tract infection, and two had pneumonia.
So prescribing antibiotics for fever is correct in 20 per cent of cases. The problem is in identifying the right ones.

(Source: Pediatrics, 2006; 118: 34-40).

E-news broadcast 31 August 2006 No.288 [Subscribe]


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