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Abstract Aim: To find the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory profile of acute undifferentiated febrile illness that present to a tertiary care hospital in Southern India. Study population: Hospitalized acute undifferentiated febrile children, duration<15days, age group 1 to 16 years. Study design: Prospective, observational hospital based study. Study duration: One year study. Material and Method: Children presenting with acute undifferentiated febrile illness were enrolled in the study by consecutive sampling. Detailed history was taken in structured form after getting informed consent. A general physical and systemic examination was performed, which was repeated daily to look for any evidence of underlying etiology of fever. Each child was investigated with complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, malaria parasite by Quantitative Buffy Coat method, chest x-ray, urine analysis, ultrasonography of abdomen, urine and blood culture. Serological tests for dengue, typhoid, scrub typhus and leptospirosis, liver function test, done based on clinical suspicion. Statistical analysis: Continuous variables assessed for the normality by using SHAPIRO WILK’S test. Categorical variables expressed as percentages. Results and Conclusion: Analysis of the distribution of AUFI showed that undifferentiated fever ( 41.2%) was the commonest cause followed by enteric fever 25.8%, lower respiratory tract infection (LRI) 12.4%, urinary tract infection (UTI) 8.2%, dengue fever 6.2%, and others 6.1% of total cases. Children with undifferentiated febrile illness were most likely to present with complaints of cough/cold, running nose and rash. We found that more than one third of AUFI do not have a specific diagnosis made despite the availability of extensive diagnostic facilities at a tertiary referral hospital. Eosinopenia is a marker for early identification of enteric fever. Complete blood count; blood culture and serology were useful to diagnose more than 50% cases and resulted in an improved health outcome.

Key Words: Febrile illness in children, enteric fever, viral fever, clinical profile of fever in children





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