Fever is the result of an immune response by your body to a foreign invader. Foreign invaders include viruses, bacteria,
fungi, drugs, or other toxins. Although a fever could be considered any body temperature above the normal 98.6 F (37 C), medically, a person is not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38.0 C).Most fever is beneficial, causes no problems, and helps the body fight off infections. The main reason to treat a fever is to increase comfort. Children less than 3 months of age with a temperature of 100.4 F (38.0 C) or greater should be seen by a health-care professional. They may be quite ill and not show any signs or symptoms besides a fever. Infants younger than 6 weeks of age should be seen immediately by their doctor
HOW IS FEVER DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of the fever is done by the general physician by checking your temperature through a thermometer. Post this, if needed, a blood test to determine the cause of the fever is done.
HOW IS FEVER TREATED?
Treatment is not usually required if it is a regular fever. Paracetamol can be taken. However, if the fever does not subside and recurs even after 3 days, it is best to see a general physician who may prescribe antibiotics.
DID YOU KNOW?
Limiting exposure to infectious agents is one of the best ways to prevent a fever. Infectious agents often cause body temperature to rise. If left untreated fever can lead to complications eg febrile convulsions, heart problems, eye diseases, etc.
A fever is not an illness by itself but is usually a symptom of another condition or infection. It makes up 30% of healthcare visits by children and is a symptom that is seen in 75% of adults that are suffering from a serious illness. A fever is considered as the body’s natural self-defence mechanism against a far serious or not so serious underlying illness. The increase in normal body temperature leads to muscle contraction and hence makes you start feeling cold.
Usually a fever need not be treated, but if it begins to cause physical discomfort, then some medication can be taken to bring down the temperature to normal. Medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may help in this regard. If taken together, they are far more effective in lowering the temperature.
Let’s have a look at one of the most common kinds of fever: viral fever. The symptoms seen in viral fever are body aches, lethargy, skin rashes, chills, and headaches. Viral fever is usually transmitted from person to person via contact with their bodily fluids. When we sneeze, cough or yawn, we tend to spray fluid that is full of bacteria or viruses from our bodies. These particles then enter the air that can be breathed in through the nose or mouth of your friend, thus infecting them. From this time on, it takes about 16-48 hours for the infection to completely develop.
A doctor would carry out several blood tests to rule out conditions like malaria, dengue and chikungunya. Blood tests are even more important in this respect as they’ll help the doctor to ascertain whether the fever is due to virus or bacteria.
It is best to stay home and take plenty of rest and eat lots of warm, healthy and fresh food. Visit the doctor so he can give you appropriate medication like antipyretics that would give you some relief if your body aches too much or if the body temperature is causing you too much discomfort. Never ignore a viral fever and its symptoms and self-medicate.
Prevention is the best cure they say. To keep fevers like at bay, avoid crowded places that may be areas of high contamination, wash your hands regularly. If you do have a cold or cough, cover your face when you sneeze or cough, so as to avoid infecting others.
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