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Newborn Fever May Be Urinary Tract Infection

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Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 14:11:19 PDT
Copyright 1997 by United Press International
SAN FRANCISCO, May 23 (UPI) -- A study by more than 200 pediatricians from 40 states and the District of Columbia shows unexplained fever in very young infants may be a sign of urinary tract infection.

The doctors say evaluating fever in infants under three months of age is extremely difficult because the high temperature can stem from everything from a simple cold to a life-threatening infection.

Says lead study author Dr. Thomas Newman of the University of California, San Francisco, ``The difficult issue is how to identify the few babies needing treatment without doing lots of unnecessary tests on all the remaining infants.''

The study of 899 feverish infants three months old and younger shows about 11 percent of them suffered from urinary tract infection. Seven infants had bacteria in their blood as well as in their urine, which can be fatal. Of these, only four looked more than just ``slightly ill.''

The doctors say the study shows observation of an infant with a fever may not be enough, and a urine test may be in order to identify the babies with urinary tract infections.

The study also shows the strongest risk factor for urinary tract infection is being an uncircumcised male. This group stands 10 times the risk of such infection than the circumcised boys.

The ongoing study, which will eventually involve 3,000 infants, aims to determine the consequences of not detecting urinary tract infections and to set specific guidelines for conducting urine tests in infants.

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Miscellaneous Newborn Care


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