Ever Heard of PFAPA Syndrome?

Pictured above is five-year old Kaylee who has PFAPA (Periodic Fever, Apthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, Adenitis) Syndrome.


I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t heard of it before. Many people, including doctors, are unfamiliar with this particular syndrome. That’s because it affects 3 out of 10,000 children, and one of them lives here in the Black Hills.

Kaylee was three months old when the syndrome started. Every month, she would spike a temperature that ranged from 103-106 degrees lasting four to six days. Blood work, urinalysis and x-rays became a routine for us, and each time the tests came back normal. Kaylee’s pediatrician finally diagnosed her with PFAPA syndrome. She began taking Prednisone at the onset of a fever. One dose was usually sufficient to stop the fever in its tracks and the doctor discussed the possibility of a tonsillectomy. He stated that four out of five children who undergo a tonsillectomy are cured from this syndrome.

Kaylee had her tonsils removed in March; now, we are crossing our fingers. My hope is to inform people about this rare – but real – syndrome and to encourage parents to talk to a pediatrician if their child is experiencing these symptoms.

Written by Brionna Cline