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December 1922


Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric Division of the New York Nursery and Child's Hospital, and the Department of Pediatrics, Cornell University Medical College.

Am J Dis Child. 1922;24(6):508-519. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1922.04120120059003

The frequent occurrence of a transient fever during the first few days of life is now generally recognized. The exact nature of the fever has not yet been satisfactorily explained. Holt,1 who gave the first adequate description of the condition in 1895 ascribed it to starvation and called it inanition fever.

Of the many hypotheses which have been advanced to explain this peculiar fever the one which has received the most experimental support is that which attempts to explain the fever as due to water loss. The observation originally made by Holt that the fever usually occurs at the time when the weight loss is greatest and disappears when the baby starts to gain has been amply confirmed.2 Holt also showed that the fever can be made to disappear by administering fluids.3 He mentions instances of fever in older infants on low fluid intakes which cleared up