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What causes cold, chills and fever when diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Ahmad

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 1308 Questions

Posted on Sat, 10 Sep 2016 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I am concerned about my brother. He has frequent hard cold chills and high fevers. He has had 3 episodes within the last 15 days, but over the last two years there have been about 45 episodes. He has been diagnosed with aspirational pneumonia due to a swallowing problem, however, within the last 3-4 weeks, he has been on antibiotics and still comes down with the hard cold chills and fevers. Could he have another condition that we need to look into? His last xray did not reveal pneumonia. Can you help us?
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Ahmad 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
He needs a full diagnostic work up.

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for writing to Health Care Magic, I am Dr Muhammd Ahmad, I have closely read your question and I understand your concerns, I will hereby guide you regarding your health related problem.

This kind of fever is called pyrexia of un known origin its causes range from it's causes(usually atypical) range from:

Atypical pneumonias.
Hidden infections.
Some cancers.
lyme's Disease.
and tens of other causes.

When a person keeps getting fever ans doesn't get cured then he should be checked for atypical causes of Pyrexia of unknown origin. For this purpose a complete work up is done with blood works Xrays ultrasound and every relevant lab including specific tests for detection of above mentioned rare infections and diseases.

Best stretagy here in case of your brother is to continue medication as prescribed by doctor and set an appointment to discuss getting other labs done specially the blood urine cultures to see what bug it can be. If there is a clear Xray it is less likely to be Aspiratuon related.

I would advise you not to panic and think with a clear mind and work on a plan to reach a diagnosis , once the cause is known , treatment wont be a big issue.

I hope this answered your question, if you have more feel free to ask,otherwise close the discussion and rate it.


Dr.Muhammad Ahmad.
General and Family Physician..
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Muhammad Ahmad 3 hours later
Dear Dr. Ahmad: Thank you for your response to my question. Obviously, I have reason for concern. I don't want to be pessimistic about his health, but I do have concern. Our father was a smoker and developed bladder cancer and had to have his bladder removed. He later developed lung cancer. Looking back, there were signs that the doctors never caught. Our father developed what we and the doctors thought was laryngitis. He then lost the ability to speak above a whisper. Still nothing was caught by the doctors. Then we went to see an ear, nose, throat specialist who immediately said, "He has a paralyzed vocal cord and I see this in lung cancer patients." We were floored as the word "cancer" had never been mentioned to us. He had a bronchoscopy and that didn't find anything. He then had a biopsy of his lung and it revealed he had squamous cell lung cancer that had spread to his liver. All that time wasted and he had lung cancer all along and it was never caught. My brother smokes at least a pack of cigarettes a day. He did have a PET scan a few years ago as there was a little "nodule". PET scan came back okay then. Do we need to have something like this again? Thank you for your time. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. What would you do if he were your patient?
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Ahmad 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Fever needs to be diagnosed then further treatment to come

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing back and explaining things in such detail. Indeed after all what happened , you have every reason to be concerned for your brother. Infact concern for your own and your loved one's health is very healthy natural response if it isn't extreme.

I understand the grief, helplessness, disappointment you must have felt i case of your father, medical science has it's own limitation and sometimes things work in a direction we never would have wanted them to.

As i already mentioned, you have to stay as calm as you can this will let you make the right choices you brother doesn't have to go through any random testing that wont be of any help he needs to be diagnosed for the cause of fever what ever it is.

Finding the cause of Pyrexia of unknown origin is a systematic science and has proper protocols and guidlines , a set of tests is done to find the cause which is then treated, you can discuss this with your doctor who will most probably initiate the diagnostic testing.

You brother should learn from what happened to your father and he should think to quit smoking even if he does it gradually , it will be of great help.

I am always here to guide you through the process but currently you main focus should be the fever and it's cause.Aftwr finding the cause further considerations about treatment and dosgnostics can be made.
I wish him everlasting health.


Dr Ahmad

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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