Miliary fever is an outdated term for any infection characterised by a seed-like rash;[1] the term may derive from the Latin miliarius, meaning millet.[2]

Famously, the diagnosis given at the time of the death of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791 was acute miliary fever, which was described by the Canadian physician William Osler in 1892 as “an infectious disease of dubious nature … characterized by fever, profuse sweats and an eruption of miliary vesicles”.[1]



Lowenfels, Albert B. The Death of a Male Musician With a Mysterious Malady. 3 Oct. 2007,
OED. “Miliary, Adj. & n.” Oxford English Dictionary, Online, Oxford University Press, 2023,