Fever: When the body runs too hot

What is a Fever? Normal body temperature for most people is 36⁰C to 37⁰C but can fluctuate between individuals or throughout the day. A fever occurs when body temperature rises higher than normal for an extended period of time. 

A temperature of over around 37.5⁰C is considered a low level fever by most doctors , and over 38.5⁰C is considered a high grade fever.

Diagnosing a Fever

Different methods of checking temperature can affect the result, with different methods of taking temperature having different thresholds for indicating a fever in children.

Armpit: 37⁰C
Oral: 37.5⁰C
Rectal/Tympanic (ear): 38⁰C

Fever Symptoms

Paradoxically, people suffering from a fever can either feel abnormally hot or cold. Shivering and shaking, clammy skin, sweating and feeling tired are also common symptoms of a fever. In addition, your forehead may feel extremely hot and your cheeks may flush.

Causes of Fever

The most common cause of a fever is infection , with excess body heat being a sign that your body is actively fighting an infection.

  • Viral Infection:cold and flu, respiratory infections such as COVID-19
  • Bacterial Infection: tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia

Other potential causes of fever include:

  • Chronic Illness: A few chronic illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause fevers that last for extended periods. 
  • Heat Stroke: fever without sweating may be a sign of heatstroke. 
  • Drug use

Fever Self Care

  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to lower fever in children. Adults can also use aspirin.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of clear liquids, especially water
  • Avoid alcohol, tea and coffee as those can lead to dehydration
  • Avoid cold baths or showers as they can actually cause you to trap body heat
  • Get plenty of rest

See a Doctor If:

  • Your temperature is over 40⁰C
  • Fever symptoms persist for more than three days despite self treatment
  • Symptoms worsen over time
  • You have a temperature but are not sweating
  • You suffer a severe prolonged headache that does not respond to treatment
  • You start experiencing other symptoms including a sore throat, drowsiness or confusion, hallucinations, rapid heart beat, neck stiffness, muscle spasms, shortness of breath and skin rashes

To find a doctor near you and book an appointment regarding fever treatment, MyHealth1st can help you find the help you need 24 hours a day.

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