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In children with fever, researchers distinguish bacterial from viral infections


In children with fever but no other symptoms of illness, it is difficult to know whether a child has a viral infection that will resolve on its own or a potentially serious bacterial infection that requires antibiotics.

 Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report that they can distinguish between viral and bacterial infections in with fever by profiling the activity of genes in a blood sample. In a small study, analyzing genes in white was more than 90 percent accurate, far better than the standard diagnostic test, which is only correct about 70 percent of the time.

The research is published July 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.

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