When examining a febrile infant or child, the physician must consider age, clinical status, underlying disease, and duration of fever in the assessment. Fever in an infant less than 6 weeks of age merits aggressive investigation and empirical therapy. The child less than 2 years of age is at risk for occult bacteremia and subsequent serious infection, even though he or she may seem only mildly ill initially. Children with fever of unknown origin represent a diagnostic challenge and may need various levels of testing to determine the cause.
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