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March 4, 1983

Fever in Obstetric and Gynecologic Patients

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester (NY) School of Medicine and Dentistry

JAMA. 1983;249(9):1150. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330330031018

To the Editor.—  Klimek et al reported an interesting study of fever in hospitalized obstetric and gynecologic patients. Of the obstetric patients, 52% did not satisfy bacteriologic or presumptive clinical or laboratory criteria to establish the diagnosis of infection. However, no viral studies were reported nor was there a comment concerning the seasonal distribution of the incidence of fever.This study covered at least one summer in a temperate city when enterovirus shed is usually prevalent. Enterovirus disease may often occur as a nonspecific febrile illness1 or with symptoms indistinguishable from those of early labor, ie, abdominal pain or mild diarrhea. Although Klimek et al classified all the obstetric patient infections as nosocomial, since there were no signs of incubating disease at admission, it seems probable that some of these postpartum fevers may have been attributable to enterovirus infection.The importance of such a diagnosis lies in the outlook