Looking for fever in nursing home residents with COVID-19: A false friend?

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Objectives: Residents in nursing homes represent a frail, elderly population, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can spread easily in this setting. Despite a frequent severe evolution of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), these patients often present an atypical course with mild initial symptoms. The aim of this study was to assess the occurrence of fever in elderly patients with COVID-19 residing in nursing homes. Methods: Two hundred and thirty-one elderly patients from three nursing homes in Pavia and surrounding area were enrolled in April–May 2020. SARS-CoV-2 infection was diagnosed using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction with nasopharyngeal swab and/or serological assay (LIAISON® SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG). Patients with a positive result on RT-PCR or serology were classed as positive. Results: In total, 170 patients (74%) were SARS-CoV-2-positive on RT-PCR and/or serology, and 61 patients (26%) had negative results on both tests. Fever (body temperature >37.5 °C) was observed in four patients (1.7%): three in the SARS-CoV-2-positive group (1.8%) and one in the SARS-CoV-2-negative group (1.6%). Conclusions: The prevalence of fever was extremely low in this population of nursing home residents with COVID-19. This finding must be taken into consideration when screening patients without fever in nursing homes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-84
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Elderly
  • Fever
  • Nursing homes
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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