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Facts About Fevers

Updated on July 14, 2012

Most of us have a lot of misconceptions about fevers. Though we have to fear certain types of fevers, it is not necessary that we should fear every type. Let us have a look.


It is mainly because of the infections caused due to bacteria or viruses that we all get fevers. You may also get them because of other reasons like toxins and autoimmune diseases. If a person has been affected by various types of cancers, he or she may get fevers also.


The real fact is that fever is a symptom. Generally, when you have a fever, you can conclude that there is an underlying illness. Such fevers due to illnesses may not cause any serious damage after both the fever and illness get cured. But, there is one type of fever about which you should be concerned. The reason for this fever is overheating that is otherwise known as heat stroke or hyperthemia. This is not exactly fever in the strictest sense. The main causes of this problem are excessive exposure to heat and dehydration and the inability of the body to regulate temperature because you may not be consuming sufficient water that is required for your system. This type of fever may result in damage of brain or a few other organs.


You may have doubts as to when you should consult your doctor if you or any other member of your family has fever. For babies under 3 months of age, you should consult a doctor if the rectal temperature is above 100.2 degrees. If the age of your child is between 3 and 6 months, there are no worries if the rectal temperature is below 101 degrees. For children of age of 6 to 12 months, you should take them to your doctor if the temperature is above 103. For children above 1 year of age and below 2, if the fever persists for more than 24 to 48 hours, you should not delay your visit to the doctor any further. For children above 2 and for adults, you can watch for about 2 to 3 days before you consult a doctor. If any person has fever above 105 degrees, you should not delay the consultation at all. Treatment from a competent doctor should begin immediately. If the fever is accompanied by sore throat, cough, etc., you should get the required treatment.


The greatest discovery of Medicine is that fever is a symptom of an underlying problem. When there is fever, it shows that the body is fighting against an infection. In other words, the body is not allowing the bacteria to grow stronger or multiply. The purpose of treating fevers is that children or adults who have them may be feeling uncomfortable. If there is no discomfort, there is no necessity for any treatment of fever.


When a child or an adult has fever, you should ensure that the child or the person is wearing light and comfortable clothes. They should be made to drink a lot of water. If a person has hyperthermia, the first step is to take the person to a cool environment. By sponging the body of the person using cool water or by placing ice packs in the armpits, you can bring down the body temperature. You should give a lot of water to the person. You should not give any medicines to him or her without consulting a doctor.


From the foregoing, it is clear that you need not fear every type of fever. It is a proven fact that only if the temperature goes up beyond 107.6 degrees, there may be a damage to the brain and other vital organs of the body.

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