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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Beware of the Zebra: Nine-year-old with Fever


An otherwise healthy nine-year-old female who spoke only French presented with abdominal pain, vomiting, intermittent fevers, fatigue, and headache. She then quickly became febrile and altered requiring intubation. When treating a healthy child, the physician may initially develop a differential that includes common illnesses. Yet, as emergency medicine providers, we must be thinking about the “zebras” in order to not miss potentially deadly, curable diseases.

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