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Disease Profile

Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

1-9 / 100 000

US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset

All ages





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

FIRES; Acute encephalitis with refractory repetitive partial seizures; AERRPS;


Nervous System Diseases


FIRES (Febrile Infection-Related Epilepsy Syndromeis a sub-type of cryptogenic new-onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE). NORSE describes a condition in which a healthy person who has not had seizures before, begins having seizures. Over a few days, the seizures increase in frequency and length and evolve into status epilepticus (SE). SE is a prolonged seizure or cluster of seizures during which a person does not regain consciousness between seizures.[1][2] The seizure activity is considered refractory because it cannot be controlled with standard anti-seizure medications. Cryptogenic means all possible known causes have been ruled out. People with the sub-type FIRES have a fever a day to two weeks before the beginning of the seizures. The fever may or may not be present when SE begins, but no infection can be found to be causing SE. SE can last for days, weeks, or even months.[1][2]

Of note, FIRES previously was considered a separate condition that occurred only in children, while NORSE was described only in adults. However, there is now consensus that FIRES and NORSE without a prior fever can both be described in people of any age.[1][3]

You can learn more about FIRES on GARD's NORSE Information Page.


This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
80%-99% of people have these symptoms
Developmental regression
Loss of developmental milestones
Mental deterioration in childhood

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EEG abnormality
Focal-onset seizure
Seizure affecting one half of brain
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Behavioral abnormality
Behavioral changes
Behavioral disorders
Behavioral disturbances
Behavioral problems
Behavioral/psychiatric abnormalities
Behavioural/Psychiatric abnormality
Psychiatric disorders
Psychiatric disturbances

[ more ]

Muscle ache
Muscle pain

[ more ]

Sinus inflammation
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Autoimmune disease
Autoimmune disorder

[ more ]

Sudden death


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Organizations Providing General Support

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      Where to Start

      • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

        In-Depth Information

        • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
        • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


          1. Gaspard N, Hirsch LJ. New-Onset Refractory Status Epilepticus (NORSE) and Febrile Infection-Related Epilepsy Syndrome (FIRES). National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2020; https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/new-onset-refractory-status-epilepticus-norse/.
          2. Gaspard N, Hirsch LJ, Sculier C. New-onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE) and febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES): State of the art and perspectives. Epilepsia. April, 2018; 59(4):745-752. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29476535.
          3. Hirsch LJ, Gaspard N, van Baalen A, et al. Proposed consensus definitions for new-onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE), febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES), and related conditions. Epilepsia. April 2018; 59(4):739-744. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29399791.