A fever is an increase of body temperature from the normal 37 degrees. This is caused by an immune response as this is the body’s natural mechanism of defense against infection from microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites that cannot live or survive in higher temperatures.
Fevers are also symptoms of illnesses along with other symptoms like a cough, sore throat, fatigue, chills, nausea, and much more.
Fevers that have temperatures lower than 38 Celsius is considered as a low-grade fever and should normally go untreated. Any fever that is above the temperatures is considered a fever by medical professionals.
However, fevers with temperatures above 40 degrees are dangerous and requires immediate home treatment and may possibly require medical attention as it can develop more severe symptoms such as delirium or convulsions.
Signs and symptoms of a fever
- Increase in body temperature
- Loss of appetite
- Chills and shivering
To determine your body temperature, you can use a thermometer on several parts of the body to take your body temperature. There are several types of thermometers, these include oral, rectal, ear and forehead.
You can also check your body temperature by placing an oral thermometer into your armpit.
When to consult a doctor
Fevers alone are not a cause for alarm or a reason to schedule a checkup with your doctor, though there are cases where you need to do an appointment with your doctor, these include:
- The fever lasts longer for more than three (3) days.
- The fever develops after staying in a hot car.
- You experience persistent vomiting.
- Convulsions or seizures.
- Abdominal pain or pain while urinating.
- You experience confusion.
- You suddenly have a sensitivity to bright lights.
- A virus
- A bacterial infection
- Heat exhaustion
- A tumor
- Some medication such as antibiotics or drugs used to treat blood pressure or seizures
Since fevers are caused by infections, the best way to prevent them from happening is to keep your environment clean and reduce your exposure to infectious diseases. Techniques to prevent one from happening include:
- Washing your hands always.
- Avoiding sick people or tell them to wear a mask to prevent the infection from spreading.
- Covering your mouth when you cough or covering your nose when you sneeze.
- Carry hand sanitizer with you.