Fever: What you need to know
A person is suffering from fever if his or her body temperature rises above the normal range of 98–100°F (36–37°C) which is a common sign of an infection.
As a person’s body temperature increases, they may feel chills which mean cold until it levels off and stops rising.
Daily habits like eating, exercise, sleeping, the time of day, and individual factors can also affect temperature.
When an infection occurs, the immune system will launch an attack to try to remove the cause. A high body temperature is a normal part of this reaction.
If body temperature rises too high, it may be a symptom of a severe infection that needs medical treatment.
When someone has a fever, these are the following symptoms:
- shiver and feel cold when nobody else does
- have a low appetite
- show signs of dehydration
- have increased sensitivity to pain
- lack energy and feel sleepy
- have difficulty concentrating
When should I worry?
Core body temperature varies from person to person.
Most experts consider a temperature of 100.4° F (38°C) to be a fever, but in children, this may be lower, at 99.5°F (37.5°C).
Hyperpyrexia can occur when a person’s temperature rises above 106°F (41.1°C). Without treatment, this can lead to complications.
A fever can be:
- acute if it lasts for under 7 days
- subacute if it lasts for up to 14 days
- chronic or persistent if it lasts for over 14 days
Fevers that exist for days or weeks with no explanation are called fevers of unknown origin.
Fevers can result from various factors, they include:
- an infection, such as strep throat, the flu, chickenpox, pneumonia, or COVID-19
- rheumatoid arthritis
- some medications
- overexposing the skin to sunlight, or sunburn
- heatstroke, either due to high ambient temperatures or prolonged strenuous exercise
- silicosis, which is a type of lung disease caused by long-term exposure to silica dust
- amphetamine abuse
- alcohol withdrawal
A mild fever is part of the immune system’s response to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. It helps the body fight off infection.
However, it can be uncomfortable, and high fever can sometimes lead to complications.
For this reason, doctors may sometimes recommend medications called antipyretics to lower a person’s temperature.
Examples include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can also reduce fever. Aspirin can help, but it is not suitable for children, and it may not be suitable for people who take blood thinners.
If a person is sweating a lot, they may experience dehydration. In this case, they should consume plenty of fluids to prevent complications.
Treating the cause
A fever is a symptom, not an illness.
A doctor may wish to carry out tests to identify the cause. If the fever is due to a bacterial infection, they may prescribe an antibiotic.
If it stems from a viral infection, the doctor may recommend using NSAIDs to relieve the symptoms.
Antibiotics will not stop a virus. A doctor will not prescribe them for a viral infection.
NSAIDs will not help if the fever is due to hot weather or sustained strenuous exercise. In these cases, it is essential to cool the person down. If they are confused or unconscious, they need immediate medical care.
In case of fever, a doctor may recommend medication to reduce it. Doctors classify fevers according to how long they last, whether or not they come and go, and how high they are. Are you suffering from a fever? Don’t panic instead book an appointment at Quickobook and get the best doctors in the valley.