Fever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness. For an adult, a fever may be uncomfortable, but usually isn't a cause for concern unless it reaches 103 F (39.4 C) or higher. For infants and toddlers, a slightly elevated temperature may indicate a serious infection. The symptoms may include:
• Muscle aches
• Loss of appetite
• General weakness
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?
Generally, if the fever does not cause discomfort, the fever itself need not be treated. It is not necessary to awaken an adult or child to treat a fever unless instructed to do so by a doctor.
The following fever-reducing medications may be used at home:
Other home remedies for fever include staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol or caffeinated beverages, which can contribute to dehydration.
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.
Fever is the most common ailment or a common medical condition that people suffer from once in a while. In scientific terms, fever is called controlled hyperthermia or pyrexia. A human body has a normal body temperature which is in the range of 98-100 degrees Fahrenheit or 36-37 degrees Centigrade. It occurs when the body temperature feels warmer or is above the normal range.
There are many types of fever, with different symptoms or signs which a person experiences and that are not as normal. These can be as follows:
• Feeling cold
• Lack of appetite
• Feeling uneasy and sleepy
• Low concentration levels
• Increased sweating
• Lethargic feeling
One such fever is a viral fever – where you feel a cold sensation as the temperature of the body increases bit by bit. An increased body temperature is one of the ways that our immune system fights the foreign body in case of an infection. Generally a fever which is caused by a cold is called a viral infection or a viral fever, where Paracetamol helps to relieve the uneasiness in patients.
If the fever is mild, then it is fine, as your body is trying to neutralize the virus which is probably causing the infection. A mild fever can be defined as a body temperature below 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and in this condition the fever needs to be monitored. But if the fever is too high and that persists, it may be serious, and you need to conduct more medical tests to understand the underlying causes, before it causes any complications.
High viral fever can be accompanied with extreme irritability, a kind of a delirium and at times convulsions too. If the fever is high and is due to bacteria – and thus not a viral fever, antibiotics may be given so that secondary infections can be fought back. Antipyretics are also administered to bring the fever down.
During such a period of infection, you need to maintain personal hygiene to keep yourselves healthy. You should wash hands properly, before and after meals and after going to the washroom. Good hygiene practices made into a habit will help all reduce the risk of developing an infection that may lead to a viral fever.
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