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What could be the cause of persistent fever in spite of taking antibiotics ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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Hi, may I answer your health queries right now ? Please typ
Sat, 5 May 2012 in Vaccinations
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 1 hour later
Hello Devyanshi,

The presentation of the history indicates that your daughter initially had a viral pharyngitis, and was recovering, but now has developed secondary bacterial infection, and has just been started on antibiotics.

Probably now, her sorethoat has subsided (Since the cough has subsided), but has evolved into a Cold sponges might be helpful to reduce the body temperature.
How to sponge: Use lukewarm water (85 - 90° F) (29.4 - 32.2° C). Sponge for 20-30 minutes. If your child shivers or becomes cold, stop sponging or increase the water temperature.

2. Give cold fluids orally in unlimited amounts (reason: good hydration replaces sweat and improves heat loss via skin).

3. Dress in 1 layer of light weight clothing and sleep with 1 light blanket (avoid bundling). (Caution: overheated kids can't undress themselves.)

You might need to consult your doctor at the earliest or visit the emergency if:

1. Your child looks or acts very sick ; Not alert when awake
2. Any difficulty breathing
3. Great difficulty swallowing fluids or saliva
4. Child is confused (delirious) or has stiff neck or bulging soft spot
5. Had a seizure with the fever
6. Very irritable (e.g., inconsolable crying or cries when touched or moved)
7. Won't move an arm or leg normally
8. Signs of dehydration (very dry mouth, no urine in more than 8 hours, etc.)
9. Burning or pain with urination

I hope this helps.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What could be the cause of persistent fever in spite of taking antibiotics ? 5 hours later
Thanks Doctor. As soon as Meftal P's reaction is getting over she is again getting fever....same intensity...102....I gave her Meftal at 8 pm and now at 3:30 am she again has fever so gave her Crocin. She urinated before sleeping. But her lips are very dry. She just had some water as well. Though there are no other signs of un-easyness and other symptoms you have mentioned, so do you suggest me to wait for another day or should I go ahead and get blood tests done to know th eroot cause of the same? She is not coughing yet in her sleep also. She also had some insect bite 2-3 days back but here doctor says its not because of that. Regards. Deepshikha ( Mother of Devyanshi who is 2.9 years old)
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 13 minutes later
Hello Deepshikha,

There is no need to be alarmed about the situation. You need to be patient, for the time being.

You can wait for another day, and continue the meftal every 6 hours (4 times in a day), and cold sponges as mentioned earlier. Once additional doses of the antibiotics have been given and its effects begin, the fever will subside soon.

Since antibiotics have already been started, blood testing might not be useful at this point of time. If the fever persists very long (> 1 week), and the antibiotics have not been effective at all, then routine blood tests, blood culture and tests for typhoid, malaria, etc can be done.

I hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What could be the cause of persistent fever in spite of taking antibiotics ? 11 hours later
Thanks Doctor...Last night we gave Devyanshi 2nd dose of antibiotis and Meftal at 8 pm. Then at 3 pm she again had fever so gave crocin but then till 10 she was sleeping without fever. But as a routine thing gave meftal at 10:30 and third dose of antibiotics and thought now probably fever won't come but again by 2:30 she had 102 fever, so gave her crocin DS. Now what should I do, should I wait for another day? 48 hours of fever is already over this afternoon & 3 doses of Augmentin antibiotics is over. Please suggest.
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 6 hours later
Hello Deepshikha,

Most fevers are good for sick children and help the body fight infection. Most fevers usually do not subside within 3-4 days in small kids, as this is the initial period when the body is fighting the infection.

Use the following definitions to help put your child's level of fever into perspective:

100°-102°F (37.8° - 39°C) Low grade fevers: beneficial, desirable range

102°-104°F (39 - 40°C) Mild fever: still beneficial

Over 104°F (40°C) Moderate fever: causes discomfort, but harmless

Over 105°F (40.6°C) High fever: higher risk of bacterial infections

Over 106°F (41.1°C) Very high fever: important to bring it down

Over 108°F (42.3°C) XXXXXXX fever: fever itself can harm brain

From the history available, most of her temperatures have been around 102°F, hence there is no need to panic. You might continue to complete the full course of the antibiotics and follow the supportive measures mentioned before to see beneficial response.

In case you still have any doubts , consulting a pediatrician might be reassuring.

I hope this helps.
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