Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

WHO Fever Management Guidelines: Challenges in Harnessing the Benefits During Covid-19 Pandemic

Version 1 : Received: 15 July 2021 / Approved: 16 July 2021 / Online: 16 July 2021 (09:40:35 CEST)

How to cite: Singh, S.; Kishore, D.; Singh, R. WHO Fever Management Guidelines: Challenges in Harnessing the Benefits During Covid-19 Pandemic. Preprints 2021, 2021070367 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0367.v1). Singh, S.; Kishore, D.; Singh, R. WHO Fever Management Guidelines: Challenges in Harnessing the Benefits During Covid-19 Pandemic. Preprints 2021, 2021070367 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0367.v1).

Abstract

Fever remains an integral part of the acute clinical diseases management, esp. viral, for which effective therapeutics remain desired. However, the presence of often confusing fever reduction recommendations for COVID-19 in the public domain during the pandemic, as late as 28 April 2021, seems to suggest the reduction of any ‘uncomfortable’ fever ranging from 37.8 - 39oC, as opposed to WHO fever reduction guidelines (≥39oC), urgently need attention. The confusion could percolate down into different agencies who look up to these agencies for guidance in framing their own, denying the benefits of fever to populations, and effectively undo whatever successive WHO’s guidelines have achieved in the last two decades. The existence of conflicting guidelines in public domains which are open to interpretations has consequences to public health and the healthcare infrastructure, on implementation. For controlling acute infectious diseases, esp. viral, the fever remains the most important enabler. Historically, our chief obstacles to harnessing the benefits of fever in acute clinical diseases with limited therapeutics had been: a) widespread myths about ‘fevers’ arising from a general misunderstanding of basic facts; b) presence of confusing guidelines by different agencies which are open to alternate interpretation. The article attempts to briefly indicate the benefits of fever in disease resolution, dispel myths, underline vagueness in illustrative national guidelines and the need to align them with evidence-based WHO guidelines, as it has the potential to perpetuate myths/confusion in masses leading to adverse impact on disease management – more morbidity and mortality from diseases including COVID-19.

Subject Areas

Fever; Beneficial fever; Infections; WHO; Fever Management; Guidelines; Antipyretic; Mortality; Heat Shock; Inflammation; COVID-19; Respiratory diseases; Paracetamol

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