Signs and Symptoms of a Lingering Pathogen
To identify a lingering pathogen, it is important to consider the patient's history, as well as conduct a thorough physical examination. This may include observing for signs such as lymphadenopathy, swollen tonsils, or abnormal temperature sensations and moisture on the skin. A history of infection or other event that has not fully resolved, or the sudden onset of unusual symptoms, may also suggest the presence of a lingering pathogen. It is important to consider the presence of a lingering pathogen in the differential diagnosis when evaluating patients with persistent or recurrent illnesses, or those who develop unusual symptoms without a clear cause.
Types and Symptoms of Fever
A fever is an increase in body temperature that can be either systemic (affecting the entire body) or localized (affecting just one part of the body). Low-grade fevers are often caused by lingering pathogens and are characterized by a consistently elevated body temperature over a period of time. Some people may experience subjective symptoms of fever, such as feeling hot and intolerant to heat, or night sweats and flushing. Others may have objective symptoms of fever, which can be detected by a healthcare practitioner during a physical examination, such as areas of the body that are warmer than the surrounding tissue. The severity of a fever may vary depending on the duration of the condition, the presence of dampness, and any complicating deficiencies. Some fevers may be accompanied by chills, shivering, or goosebumps, and may occur in cycles, appearing daily at specific times or coming and going over a period of weeks. Fevers caused by qi and blood level pathogens or nutirive level pathogens tend to be low-grade, while fevers caused by shao yang level pathogens may be characterized by alternating episodes of fever and chills. In some cases, a fever may be muted or absent, especially in cases where dampness or complicating deficiencies are present.