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May 31, 1930


JAMA. 1930;94(22):1763-1764. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02710480039016

Fever has been defined as the result of a reaction occasioned by a variety of injurious influences acting on the body. The reaction is characterized by a moderate increase in the oxidative processes and consequent moderate increase in heat production, but more especially by such changes in the heat regulation as lead to disproportion between the heat production and the heat loss, and a consequent rise in body temperature. Despite the efforts of physicians throughout centuries to cure fever regardless of the disease with which it may be associated, the idea that the febrile condition represents a protective reaction of the organism has gained ground. In a lecture before the Harvey Society of New York in 1908, MacCallum1 pointed out that it has again become usual to think of the fever as probably a beneficial reaction that should not be interfered with. He remarked that it is not perfectly

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