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Pediatrics/On and off fever for a few days with no ear or throat infection


Hello. My son is 2 years old. He has had a fever as high as 102 ( it comes and goes) for a week now. Sometimes it just skips a day. I have taking him to the doctors office, twice, convinced he might have an ear infection or maybe his throat but that wasn't the case. On both times the doctor has said "he's fine, must be viral" .. Question is .. If it is viral, wouldn't it be 2-3 days ?  And why does the fever comes and go? I've notice that everytime his temperature is high his hands and feet are cold including his forehead (which is where I would usually feel him for fever) the rest of his body is hot... (He has gotten all of his teeth, so that's not it )

Hi, Wendy,

Viral illnesses usually are brief and last a few days.  Quite often they can, however, last a week or so.  Intermittant fevers are typical for a viral illness.  Teething will not cause a fever of 102 degrees at all.

Your pediatrician is well aware that at some time in the course of a fever illness, more evaluation needs to be done.  This may include a first tier of blood tests, a urine test, and perhaps a chest Xray, depending on the other symptoms.  There is an extensive possible workup for fever of unknown origin in kids, but this usually doesn't kick in until a few weeks of fever, normal routine labs and normal urine and chest Xray.

It is quite common with a fever in kids to have the extremities be chilly and the core be hot.  This has no real meaning.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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