A fever is a higher-than-normal body temperature. Fever is not an illness itself but a symptom caused by a variety of illnesses. A fever is body’s normal response to fighting infection. Temperatures higher than your body’s normal temperature make it hard for viruses and bacteria to thrive. Fevers also serve to activate your body’s immune system. Fevers are typically caused by infections but can happen because of heat exhaustion, autoimmune disorders, and medications.
Body temperature varies less in adults and usually isn’t usually dangerous unless it registers 103 degrees F or higher. It can be raised by physical activity, strong emotion, eating, heavy clothing, medications, high room temperature, and high humidity. This is especially true in children.
Heatstroke is a particularly dangerous type of high temperature, because the body is not able to stop the temperature from continuing to rise. It can happen when a child is left in a hot car or when you don’t hydrate well enough during strenuous activity.
Signs and Symptoms
- Temperature above 100.4
- Severe headache
Who is at risk?
Anyone suffering from infection
Anyone taking high risk medications
Anyone suffering from heat exhaustion
Treatment of your fever depends on the cause. Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen will lower a very high fever. Adults can also take aspirin but aspirin should not be given to children with fevers. Preventing dehydration is important so remember to take in enough liquids.
If the fever is caused by infection or illness other measures will be taken for treatment.
Contact your local Urgent Care if your symptoms have continued for more than 3 days.