This is suspected when there is fever with no localizing signs.

Causes include infections by Staphylococcus aureus, Meningococcus and Salmonella group.
Severity may vary and some children affected by this condition may be severely ill. Diagnosis is that of exclusion by doing the following investigations:

  • Full blood count (shows leucocytosis and neutrophilia)
  • Blood smear for malaria (negative)
  • Urinalysis (negative)
  • Blood culture (positive)


  • Give benzyl penicillin and gentamicin or chloramphenicol.
  • In suspected Staphylococcus aureus infection, give cloxacillin or flucloxacillin instead of penicillin.
  • If there is no response after 48–72 hours consider using ceftazidime or ceftriaxone.