Dear Neil and friends, I'm still engaged in clinical pediatrics. I do encounter many children that are admitted with high fever and running nose. My diagnose is quite often "URTI", i.e. viral infection of upper airways.
Paracetamol/saline nasal drops and observation represent correct treatment. Infact after 2-3 days the child becomes afebrile and then discharged.
Not the same occurs in other settings, especially private ones: all children with fever receive an antibiotic.
I ask/I implore WHO to stress this point: majority of fever in infants are viral infections and therefore do not require antibiotics. WHO should also stress that doctor must (must!) compromise him/herself and decide whether the child has a bacterial infection (very rarely) or viral (most times). He/she must write down the diagnose in the health booklet of the child.
It is a deontological mistake to write a list of drugs on a leaflet without justification of them, yet this is a worldwide mal-practice.
Greetings from Dodoma
HIFA profile: Massimo Serventi is a long-standing Pediatrician working in Africa since 1982. He has worked for several NGOs in 6 African/2 Asian countries. His interests include clinical and community pediatrics, adherence to clinical guidelines and school education as the major determinant of good health. massimoser20 AT gmail.com