Fever is a condition in which the body temperature is above normal. The normal body temperature is 98.4°F, so any temperature above this is considered as fever. Fever could be mild or high, depending on the underlying cause. By itself it is not an illness, but an indication of a disease. Symptoms associated with fever are:
• Body aches
• General discomfort
• Fatigue and weakness
• Burning eyes or pain in eyes
• Delirium and hallucinations (in case of very high fever)
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 of fever depends on the assessment of the problem. A paracetamol is given to bring down the fever. If the fever is caused because of some underlying infection, then antibiotics may also be suggested.
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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