Evaluation and Management of Febrile, Well-appearing Young Infants

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2015 Sep;29(3):575-85. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2015.05.008. Epub 2015 Jul 16.


The evaluation and management of well-appearing febrile infants less than 3 months of age has presented a decades-long clinical conundrum for providers. This article reviews the epidemiology of bacterial and viral infections in these infants. It discusses evidence-based diagnostic and treatment strategies, including appropriate use of testing, admission to the hospital, use of antibiotics, and hospital discharge. It also highlights the substantial variation in care for febrile infants and provides strategies to standardize practice.

Keywords: Fever; Infant; Management; Serious bacterial infection; Viral illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / diagnosis*
  • Bacterial Infections / physiopathology
  • Disease Management*
  • Fever* / epidemiology
  • Fever* / etiology
  • Fever* / therapy
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Virus Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Virus Diseases / drug therapy
  • Virus Diseases / physiopathology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents