Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Fever pitch

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 25 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4562
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Evolutionary theorists have suggested that it is a mistake to lower the temperature of a fever because fever must have survival value, otherwise it wouldn’t have evolved as a response to infection in the first place.

    Whatever the validity of this roundish, if not completely circular, argument, the author Graham Greene found another virtue in fever: it once persuaded him that life was worth living.

    He was on his trek in 1935 through Liberia when he fell ill. The first edition of his book about it, Journey without Maps, had to be pulped because of a threat of a libel action brought by a colonial medical officer …

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