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persistent or recurring fever

Q: My daughter is 17 years of age. Of late she is having intermittent fever. Not very high temperature though. She feels extremely weak. A little cough and cold is there. I am very worried. The feverish feeling is just not going.

A:The causes of a persistent or recurring fever are numerous. Infections range from malaria to dental abscess. Malignant possibilities include hidden cancers and lymphomas. A variety of inflammatory disorders need to be considered, such as vasculitis and collagen vascular diseases. The only way to resolve the differential diagnosis is by having an M.D. take a history, perform a careful physical exam, and order appropriate diagnostic tests. Any deep worry about a feverish illness that persists must be brought to a physicians attention so that specific diagnosis and treatment can be started.

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