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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


MIRANDA M, Jaime; CABEZAS S, César; MAGUINA V, Ciro  and  VALDIVIA M, Juan. Hipertemia durante el fenómeno de el niño, 1997-98. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2003, vol.20, n.4, pp.200-205. ISSN 1726-4634.

Objective: To describe the clinical presentation and outcome of febrile syndrome cases occurring during El Niño phenomenon in 1997-98, and to review the pathophysiology of hyperthermia. Material and Methods: Descriptive longitudinal study performed in Chimbote, Ancash. The case definition for febrile syndrome was: children less than 5 years old with fever not responding to antipyretic agents and without any apparent infectious source. In the following analysis a ‘non-toxic’ appearance, absence of any infectious source in the physical examination, and negative laboratory tests were also considered. Results: 25 cases were assessed (68% male, 80% between 5 and 18 months old), with an average 15,17 (13,52) days (± standard deviation) as time for being sick. Median temperature was 38,8º C, average temperature was 38.84º C (range: 38 - 40º C). Two thirds (68%) of all patients were sick for more than 15 days; 52% had visited a health facility at least once; 68% received antibiotics and antipyretic agents; and 52% were admitted to the hospital through the emergency service. All cases had fever, associated to dry skin (72%), diarrhea (64%), cough (52%), weight loss (52%), irritability (44%), nausea and/or vomiting (40%), rhinorrhea (24%), and seizures (20%). The average hospitalization time was 4,7 days, and the average time being febrile was 2,5 days. None of the patients had any laboratory test compatible with any infectious cause. Conclusions: Under adverse environmental conditions, local heat should be considered as an important factor for the development of hyperthermia, in order to give the best management to affected people in the minimum time possible.

Keywords : Fever; El Niño; Clima Effects; Preschool; Peru.

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