Fever Health News

A fever is part of the body’s immune response. It's an elevation of body temperature that usually occurs in reaction to an outside intruder, such as a bacteria or virus. The body’s natural temperature (98.6 degrees F) is a good temperature for bacteria and viruses, and the fever is part of the body’s attempt to create an uncomfortable environment for the intruder.

Causes

A fever is not a medical condition in and of itself but rather a symptom of an infection or something else that’s wrong in the body. The most common causes of fever are a cold or the flu, but a fever can be related to more serious problems in the body, too. It could be due to strep throat, bronchitis or pneumonia. If someone has been exposed to extreme temperatures or hard work in the heat for long periods of time, a fever could be related to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. It can also be a symptom of serious problems like meningitis, tuberculosis and cancer. In fact, a fever is a symptom of many illnesses so it’s often important to look at the other symptoms when determining the course of action.

Treatment of Fever

If a fever is mild (lower than 101 degrees) and the person has no other alarming symptoms, then treating it with rest, hydration and over-the-counter pain relievers is often sufficient. The exception to this rule is a child younger than 3 months of age, who should be taken to a doctor if the child's temperature goes above 100.4 degrees.

The key thing is to monitor the level of the temperature and other symptoms in order to determine the best course of action. An adult with a consistent fever of 103 degrees or one that rises to 105 degrees should see a doctor right away. Fevers that last 48 to 72 hours or more or fevers, even lower-temperature ones, that come and go for a week or more also warrant a doctor's attention. In a child, a temperature above 104 degrees or a temperature that persists after three days is cause for concern. So are such symptoms as feeling very ill or unusually drowsy. Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, headache or stiff neck need to be monitored carefully, and a doctor should be called if these persist or increase in severity. Also be wary of any fever that follows heat exposure because this could be a sign of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

SOURCES:American Academy of Pediatrics; American Academy of Family Physicians; U.S. National Library of Medicine

Date Posted
Article Title
8/28/2017
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6/14/2017
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1/12/2017
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12/30/2016
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8/30/2016
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It's not concerning in these scenarios

7/13/2016
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It also found possible link between fever-related seizures and the behavioral disorder in kids

6/6/2016
Childhood Vaccinations Rarely Spur Seizures, Study Finds

Doctors might see 1 case every 5 to 10 years, researchers report

4/4/2016
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3/15/2016
2/18/2016
Teething Makes Babies Cranky, But Not Sick: Review

But if infant has a fever while first teeth break through gums, it most likely points to illness, doctors say

12/23/2015
U.S. Teen Treated for Rare Rat-Bite Fever

Only 200 cases have been reported since 1839, research reveals

11/16/2015
Rectal Thermometer Remains Gold Standard for Spotting Fever

Better than temperatures taken by mouth or under arm, study says

6/8/2015
Another Tick-Borne Illness Documented in Northeast

Recurring fever is hallmark for this little-known infection, study says

5/29/2015
150 People May Have Had Contact With Lassa Fever Victim: CDC

But most at little risk of infection from the potentially fatal disease that's rare in U.S.

5/26/2015
U.S. Traveler Returning From Liberia Dies of Lassa Fever: CDC

Only sixth known case in United States since 1969, but virus is much less deadly than Ebola

3/20/2015
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Pediatrician offers advice on common childhood ailments

12/18/2014
Scratch From Pet Rat Kills Child; CDC Warns of Risk

'Rat-bite fever' also sickened 16 others in 2000-2012 in San Diego County alone, report noted

11/13/2014
Gene Analysis May Help Spot Ebola-Like Illnesses Before Symptoms Appear

Preliminary research on hemorrhagic fever viruses uncovers early signs of infection

5/19/2014
Delaying Measles-Related Vaccines May Raise Seizure Risk: Study

Researchers say findings emphasize importance of following timing guidelines

2/25/2014
Fever in 1st Trimester Might Raise Risk of Birth Defects

Review found an association, but researchers noted women can safely take Tylenol to lower body temp

2/6/2014
Fever-Related Seizures in Kids Eased by Epilepsy Drug: Study

Standard emergency guidelines needed for long-lasting seizures, researchers say

1/23/2014
Health Tip: Spot the Signs of Scarlet Fever

Red, sore throat is a common symptom

1/7/2014
Temporary Fever May Occur When Kids Under 2 Get 2 Shots at Once

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11/26/2013
As More Meningitis Cases Hit Colleges, Experts Urge Awareness

Symptoms include sudden fever, headache, neck stiffness, vomiting and sensitivity to light

10/15/2013
Children Benefit From Early Dose of Measles Vaccine, Study Finds

Kids vaccinated at 1 year to 15 months of age have lower risk of fever, seizures, researchers say

8/9/2013
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Present in more than half of states, the bloodthirsty parasite transmits a host of viruses

7/22/2013
Midwest Ticks Show Signs of 'Heartland Virus'

Recently discovered disease struck two Missouri farmers

7/1/2013
New Tick-Borne Illness May Be Misdiagnosed

Case reports look at 2 older patients with Borrelia miyamotoi infection

6/4/2013
Can You Skip Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infection?

In small study, UTI symptoms cleared on their own for most women, but an expert urges caution

5/29/2013
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5/8/2013
Study Sees Link Between Mom's Flu, Bipolar Risk for Children

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4/24/2013
Many Kids Who Undergo Stem Cell Transplants Must Return to Hospital

Study found readmissions for fever, infections and gastro problems

4/2/2013
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Finnish study found fewer sore throats after surgery, less time lost from work or school

3/28/2013
Valley Fever Fungal Infection on Rise in Southwest

Flu-like symptoms can last weeks or months, CDC researchers say

3/14/2013
Homegrown Strain of Dengue Fever Virus Pinpointed in Florida

Some 2009-2010 cases originated in Key West mosquitoes, not from travelers, CDC says

2/25/2013
Pediatrics Group Issues New Ear Infection Guidelines

Less antibiotic use, added focus on pain control among key points

2/20/2013
Mosquitoes Can Become Desensitized to DEET

Disease-causing bugs ignore repellent's smell several hours after exposure, study finds

2/13/2013
Patients Urged to Watch for Trouble After Colon Surgery

Wound drainage, bowel problems, fever can signal post-op complications, expert panel says

1/20/2013
How to Tell If Your Child Is Too Sick for School: Expert

If kids aren't well enough to learn, it's best to keep them home

1/18/2013
Malaria, Typhoid Pose Biggest Threat to Travelers in Tropics

The feared Ebola virus is much less common, study says

1/3/2013
Climate Change May Bring Another Mosquito-Borne Illness to U.S.

Study uses computer model to assess risk of Chikungunya virus

12/3/2012
Children's Seizures Not Always Damaging, Study Finds

Those caused by fever don't appear to harm brain function

11/30/2012
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A temperature is 'often a friend,' doctor says

11/12/2012
Study Explores Possible Tie Between Fever, Flu in Pregnancy and Autism

Even if higher risk exists, it's still very small, researcher stressed

9/11/2012
Experimental Dengue Vaccine Shows Some Success

The painful, potentially deadly illness is endemic to the tropics, and has reappeared in the United States

9/7/2012
The Plague: It's Still With Us

Colorado girl likely the fourth infected in this 'average year,' CDC says

8/29/2012
Yet Another Tick-Borne Illness Emerges in U.S.

'Phlebovirus' symptoms in 2 Missouri men included fever, short-term memory problems

7/9/2012
Babies With Pets Not Dogged by Colds: Study

Early exposure, especially to dogs, reduced respiratory infections in infants

5/29/2012
Fever During Pregnancy May Raise Odds for Autism in Offspring

But experts say taking fever-relieving meds cuts the risk