“…Engrossing and suspenseful… a searing look at the trade-offs we make when failure is not an option.”

—Barbara Josselsohn, author of The Lilac House

About Fever

In the small Brazilian village of Promissão, children become fussy, their eyes turn pink and their skin flushes with heat. Four days later, they die. Dr. Sidonie Royal learns of the illnesses on a trip to visit her friend’s brother. Strange bacteria grow from a sample of blood Sid sneaks back to the US. Are they the cause of the illnesses?

About the Author

Janet Gilsdorf, MD, is the Robert P. Kelch Research Professor Emerita at the University of Michigan, where she participates in the care of children with complex infectious diseases and formerly directed the Haemophilus influenzae research laboratory. Her scientific endeavors have involved elucidating the epidemiology of bacterial infections, exploring how bacteria cause infections, and developing vaccines to prevent ear infections in children.


”A great antidote to misinformation  about vaccines and rising sentiment against their use.“

—Dan Granoff, M.D., UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland on Continual Raving

”In this fascinating book, Janet Gilsdorf brings the sensibility of a skilled scientist and the compassion of a dedicated pediatrician.“

—Joel Howell, M.D., PhD University of Michigan on Continual Raving

”One doesn't have to be a parent to be deeply affected by the story of the Campbells. … tension rides high and there were moments when my hand trembled turning the page. Janet Gilsdorf writes with a surety that allows her to bring this difficult, dramatic tale to its life-affirming conclusion...“

—Holly Chamberlin, author of Last Summer on Ten Days

”Janet Gilsdorf, who is both a physician and a patient, writes brilliantly about both those roles with cancer.“

—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone on Inside/Outside

”I was riveted by this family's journey to the edge and back. There is just enough medical detail to make the events crisp and authentic. Anyone who has ever cared for a child will feel for Anna and Jake as they fight to save their baby.“

—Rosalind Noonan, author of The Daughter She Used to Be on Ten Days

”Inside/Outside recounts the cancer journal of a physician/epidemiologist and is as vivid and clinical as it is human, vulnerable, and inspiring. It will enrich bother patient—and physician—readers.“

—Fitzhugh Mullan, author of A Young Doctor’s Struggle with Cancer on Inside/Outside


In late 1984, ten healthy young children from Promissāo, a farming village in Sāo Paulo State, Brazil, developed pink eye, followed several days later by high fever, expanding purple patches on their skin, cardiovascular collapse, and death. A year and a half later, eleven children from Serrana, another farming village in Sāo Paulo State, developed the same illness. What was it?

Also by Janet