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Acute febrile illness

Acute febrile illness refers to a sudden onset of fever, typically accompanied by other symptoms, that lasts relatively short. Febrile means having a fever, and acute indicates the rapid and abrupt onset of the illness. The term describes a wide range of infectious and non-infectious conditions characterized by a sudden increase in body temperature.

Various factors, including viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections can cause acute febrile illnesses. Common examples of acute febrile illnesses include influenza (flu), dengue fever, malaria, typhoid fever, and pneumonia. These conditions often manifest with symptoms such as high body temperature, chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and sometimes respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms, depending on the underlying cause.

Non-infectious causes can also lead to acute febrile illness. These can include inflammatory conditions, autoimmune disorders, certain cancers, drug reactions, or other systemic diseases. In such cases, the fever is a response to the underlying condition rather than being caused by an infection.

Diagnosing the specific cause of an acute febrile illness usually requires a comprehensive evaluation, including a thorough medical history, physical examination, and potentially laboratory tests such as blood tests, imaging studies, or pathogen-specific diagnostic tests.

Treatment of acute febrile illnesses depends on the underlying cause. For infectious causes, appropriate antimicrobial agents may be prescribed if a bacterial or parasitic infection is identified. Supportive care, including rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications to manage symptoms, is often recommended to help alleviate discomfort and promote recovery.

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If you know of any terms that have been omitted from this glossary that you feel would be useful to include, please send detail to the Editorial Office at GenScript: [email protected]

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