What is childhood fever?

Infant fever is a fairly rare disease that occurs at the end of a pregnancy due to childbirth, miscarriage or abortion. Also called puerperal sepsis, this condition represents a bacterial infection of the reproductive organ, which can spread to the bloodstream. This disease exists today mainly when women give birth in unhygienic circumstances or when they receive abortions that are not performed in a sterile manner. Worse still, in such situations antibiotics may not be available, thus the spread of the disease will not be controlled. At one point, the impact of childhood fever was felt much more widely.

17th century Britain provides the first documented cases of childhood fever, but it is likely that the cases existed long before the documentation. The subject was studied extensively in various countries in the 18th and 19th centuries, as women faced extraordinary risk in having a baby. Between 10 and 20% of them could die during labor, and the figures were higher for those who obtained abortions. Doctors learned to recognize the symptoms, which usually began with a fever over 100 degrees F (37.78 degrees C) within the first 10 days after birth, but did not understand the cause, and until the mid-20th century, there was no treatment. cash.

Some of the most important work done in these two centuries on childhood fever is attributed to Alexander Gordon, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Ignaz Semmelweis. All three men supported handwashing to prevent the spread of the disease. In that climate, none of these men were listened to with much respect, and it is very likely that many doctors are carriers of disease, not just childhood fever, but many other diseases.

In the early 20th century, after the work of Louis Pasteur and others, it became clear that doctors could transmit disease from one patient to another. Medical teaching aligned with this view, suggesting various solutions for cleaning hands to prevent infection. Even with such measures, cases of childhood fever still occurred, although less frequently, and could not be treated because antibiotics did not exist. With the development of antibiotics, a cure was possible.

In today's developed countries, the issue of childhood fever is a minor problem. It can still occur, but it usually responds to treatment. It is likely to be a problem after illegally obtained abortions rather than after childbirth. In these circumstances, the procedures may be unhygienic and the person is unlikely to seek further medical treatment for symptoms such as fever. In developing countries there are areas where childhood fever remains tragically problematic and where treatment for it is difficult to obtain.

Since this illness can still occur, women who have had an abortion, miscarriage, or labor and delivery should report any fever over 100 degrees F to doctors immediately if it occurs within the first 10 days after delivery. end of pregnancy. Suspected cases of this condition are best treated individually. Different antibiotics may be used depending on the bacteria present. In some cases, a woman with a known infection is treated prophylactically, before birth, to prevent infection of the uterus or bloodstream.

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