Epidemiology of patients presenting to the emergency department with acute febrile illness in the summer months in Karachi, Pakistan: A cross-sectional study

Nadeem Ullah Khan, Uzma R. Khan, Salman Muhammad Soomar, Naveed Ahmed, Zeyanna Dhalla, Faysal Subhani, Noman Ali, Badar Afzal Khan, Junaid A. Razzak

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Low and middle-income countries, including Pakistan, encounter many acute, undifferentiated fevers in their emergency departments (EDs), especially in the summer. There is a need to understand the prevalence and etiologies of fever to create sustainable risk stratification systems and better identification processes for more efficient treatments. This study aims to determine the patterns, causes, and outcomes of patients presenting to the ED with a fever in the summer months in Karachi, Pakistan.Patients and methods: This was a cross-sectional surveillance study conducted in the summers of 2017 and 2018 in the EDs of four tertiary care hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. Patients 18 years of age and older, both males and females, that presented with a fever within 48 h were enrolled in the study. The study sample was 5034. Prior comorbidities, medication history, and treatment offered for the illness and diagnosis were noted. The data were stratified by years, that is, 2017-2018. A χ 2-test and a one-way analysis of variance test were applied to check the association between fever presentation in years and covariates.Results: Of the 5034 patients, 3045 (60.5%) presented in 2017 and 1989 (39.5%) presented in 2018. Almost half of the patients who presented with fever to the ED were between 25 and 44 years of age [2383 (47.3%)]. A majority of those presenting were male [3049 (60.6%)]. Most of the patients had a fever recorded between 101 and 102°F [1038 (20.6%)]. The most common accompanying symptoms were headache [2636 (52.4%)] and nausea and vomiting [2274 (45.2%)]. The majority of the patients were diagnosed as viral fever [2390 (47.5%)]. Patients were managed with antibiotics [3342 (66.4%)] and intravenous fluids [2521 (50.1%)] and a majority of patients were discharged [4677 (93.8%)].Conclusions: Fever is a common presentation in the ED. Understanding the frequency of the causative agent will help improve diagnosis and the judicious use of antibiotics.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalDepartment of Emergency Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2023

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