Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Fever - What Does It Indicate?

Dr. Ali Zama 90% (546 ratings)
MBBS, PG Diploma In Emergency Trauma Care, Fellowship In Diabetology
General Physician, Bangalore  •  5 years experience
Fever - What Does It Indicate?

Fever is a common medical sign that is generated by the body to a varied level of infection and other conditions. It results from the elevated temperature of the body due to the body’s thermostat getting reset to a higher than normal temperature. It is a defence mechanism of the body to fight against external microbes. It is not a disease but a symptom of a disease that the body is fighting against.

Temperature variation of fever:
There is no absolute value of body temperature which is defined as fever. However, the below-mentioned temperatures are generally accepted as a condition of fever:

  1. Rectal temperature of more than 38 degrees centigrade
  2. Oral temperature of more than 37.8 degrees centigrade
  3. Armpit temperature of more than 37.2-degree centigrade
  4. Ear temperature of more than 38-degree centigrade
  5. Forehead temperature of more than 38-degree centigrade

Different types of fever:

  1. Continuous fever: This is a condition where the body temperature is above normal for more than 24 hours and temperature fluctuation is not more than 1-degree centigrade. Continuous fever is observed in diseases such as typhoid, typhus, infective endocarditis and pneumonia.
  2. Remittent fever: Remittent fever refers to a condition where the body temperature constantly remains more than normal for 24 hours. The temperature fluctuation is not more than 2-degree centigrade. This kind of fever is observed in diseases such as infective endocarditis and typhoid.
  3. Intermittent fever: This is a condition where the body temperature rises for few hours in a day and comes down to normal for the rest of the day. The spike in temperature has a repetitive pattern and is visible in diseases such as malaria, septicemia, and pyemia.
  4. Septic fever: This is a condition which is characterised by an extremely high fever that refuses to come down to normal and has hardly any fluctuation. This condition should be immediately addressed by a doctor to ensure further deteriorating of the physical health of a patient.
  5. Pel-Ebstein fever: This condition is characterised by recurrent bouts of body temperature. It might take up to 3 days for the temperature to rise, it maintains the temperature for the next 3 days and gradually comes down over the next 3 days. The total cycle continues for 9 days.
  6. Periodic fevers: This is the kind of fever which can last up to few days to few weeks followed by a symptom-free period of a fixed interval. This fever has a particular pattern and is mostly witnessed in patients suffering from diseases such as stills disease, Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Certain other conditions such as hyper-IgD syndrome and Mediterranean Fever can also result in this condition. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.
3623 people found this helpful
Thank DoctorThank