Acute fever (or ‘acute febrile syndrome’, a rapid onset of fever and symptoms such as headache, chills or muscle and joint pains) is common in the tropics and sub-tropics. Frequently, such fevers resolve without treatment, but fever may also herald the onset of severe, potentially fatal illness. The causes of severe acute febrile illness are numerous, and account for many preventable deaths in low-income countries, particularly in children.
Improved living conditions in developed countries, together with access to good diagnosis and treatment, have made death from infectious disease rare in these countries. However, much of the world still lives with severe, unpredictable but avoidable illness that extracts a high mortality, particularly among children.
Prevention of severe illness and death relies on early detection (diagnosis), but most patients in developing countries, and most health services that care for them, cannot afford highly sophisticated tests necessary to achieve this. However, new technologies now provide the potential to make practical, affordable and accurate diagnosis accessible to all, improving significantly the effectiveness of public health and infectious disease management.
This document outlines an approach to take us towards that goal – achievable through partnerships of researchers and product developers, manufacturers, health providers and communities that stand to benefit.
Anon. FIND acute febrile syndrome strategy. (2012) 40 pp.