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Fever is defined as the body’s natural reaction or preventive action against some kind of illness or infection within the body. So though actually fever is not really an illness it is a sign of some kind of illness. The regular body temperature is about 98.4 degrees but in case of fever, body temperature goes up 99 and beyond. Anything past 102 degrees is a reason to worry.
HOW IS FEVER DIAGNOSED?
Along with having generalized symptoms of a fever, taking one's temperature with a thermometer can confirm the diagnosis of a fever. A temperature greater than 100.4 F in adults or children is considered a fever. Different tests may be done by a doctor, such a blood and imaging tests, to determine the cause of a fever and if the cause of the fever needs to be treated.
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?
For infants with a fever of more than 100.4, immediate medical attention is required
Fever as we understand from the word, is as we all know a condition wherein our body feels warmer than usual. Our body does not feel fit and we feel we need to slow down and rest for a while.
Our normal body temperature does vary and is quite affected by different factors such as exercising, certain food we eat or sleeping at specific times of the day. The temperature of our body is generally at its highest at about six in the evening and lowest in the wee hours of the morning like three am.
We measure the body temperature by inserting a thermometer in the mouth, and if inserted in the armpits, the resultant temperature needs to decrease by .02 or .03 degrees centigrade.
Fever is generally caused by either a viral infection or a bacterial infection and our body temperatures automatically rise, to combat this infection. In short, our immune system gets down to working hard to resolve the infection.
Other causes of fever include:
• Throat infection
• Common cold
• Heat stroke
• Amphetamine abuse and alcohol withdrawal
Symptoms of viral fever include – head aches, body aches, cold, running nose, sneezing, feeling uneasy, sleepiness or rashes. You may feel like vomiting often, and the temperature does not go down after a day or two, even after normal Paracetamol tablets are administered.
A viral fever can be diagnosed when the fever is followed by a cold and when blood work confirms the same. Remedies for when you have a viral fever:
• You should take sufficient rest and intake warm food that is soothing like soups and broths.
• Visit a doctor if the fever persists for more than a day
• Antipyretics are fever medicines that should be taken under medical guidance only.
• Analgesics or antibiotics will not work in case it is a viral fever. Antibiotics will take of the fever if caused by bacterial infection, thus they cannot kill the virus. If taken, it will only cause a disturbed stomach.
Thus a person who has been infected with a viral fever should not have much contact with people around him or her, so that the infection does not spread. The ones looking after a viral patient should also maintain hygiene by washing hands with warm soap and water. The patient on the other hand, should maintain a strict personal hygiene till the viral fever goes away.
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