Febrile illnesses of different etiology among outpatients in four health centers in Northwestern Ethiopia

Jpn J Infect Dis. 2009 Mar;62(2):107-10.


Fever of different etiology is common in tropical and subtropical countries of the world. Etiological agents of febrile illnesses were assessed in 653 acute febrile patients aged 3 to 17 years who attended the outpatient departments of Dembecha Health Center, Jiga Health Center, Quarit Health Center, and Finoteselam Hospital in western Gojjam zone, northwestern Ethiopia. Malaria was the most prevalent illness, infecting 62% of all cases. Its prevalence varied significantly from 52% (Dembecha) to 72.7% (Quarit) (chi(2)=15.02, P=0.000). Plasmodium falciparum was the first cause of malaria (47.3%) followed by P. vivax (23%). Mixed infection of both P. falciparum and P. vivax was found in 7.2% of the cases. The other febrile infections were pneumonia (7%), typhoid (5.8%), typhus (5.1%), and brucellosis (2.6%). The availability of diagnostic facilities and the awareness of the community regarding the prevalence of non-malaria febrile illnesses are very low, and these illnesses are diagnosed clinically. As these illnesses are nonspecific, especially during the early stages of onset, misdiagnosis and mistreatment can occur. Therefore, it is recommended that the necessary diagnostic materials and awareness should be in place for prompt treatment of febrile cases in these districts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Brucellosis / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fever / epidemiology*
  • Fever / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Malaria / epidemiology
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Male
  • Outpatients*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / isolation & purification
  • Plasmodium vivax / isolation & purification
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Typhoid Fever / epidemiology
  • Typhus, Epidemic Louse-Borne / epidemiology