Fever Fears - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fever Fears

Normal body temperature is usually considered to be 98.6 - but of course, normal can vary.

It can vary depending on the person's age, the time of day and the amount of physical activity done before taking the temperature.

But for Doctor Licameli, his daughter's fever seemed anything but normal.

The Licameli family looks carefree.

But when six-year-old claire was a baby, she had high spiking fevers so frequently, her mother could predict them on the calendar.

"It seemed that they were coming every 25 days and lasting for five days. And at that point I realized there's something more going on here.", says Claire's mom.

"When claire's fevers went from 102 to 106 rapidly, she had a seizure. And one seizure turned into three in a row, four in a row. It was like these seizures just wouldn't stop.", she says.

Medical tests found nothing wrong. But the constant fevers threatened Claire's development and no one knew how to stop them.

"We just couldn't figure it out. And that was very scary and very frustrating.", says Dr. Licameli, Claire's dad.

Dr. Licameli is a doctor at children's hospital of boston. He devoured the medical literature until some European studies caught his eye.

"I found some articles that had described this syndrome. And then a couple, about two or three papers, describing small groups, four or five children in each study where they underwent removal of the tonsils and adenoids and in a pretty large percentage of them were cured.", he says.

At 19 months, Claire had the surgery and the fevers disappeared.

Why the surgery works is unclear and the fevers' cause, a mystery.

"The theory is that perhaps this is somewhat of an exaggerated response of the immune system to some sort of inciting cause which really hasn't been identified.", says Dr. Licameli.

Whatever the reason, to this day,  Claire is healthy and fever-free.

Dr. Licameli says this cyclical fever syndrome is known as -"PFPA" and appears to be very uncommon.

But since the success of his daughter's surgery, he has operated on more than 60 children, published a paper on his earliest patients, and continues to research the cause and cure.

Again, no one knows for sure why removing the tonsils and adnoids stops these particular fevers.

But fevers in general can be kind of tricky at times, so if you have any concerns about your child, it's best to check with your doctor.

 

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