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HEALTH CONDITIONS
Fever
Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Fever is often a sign of infection, inflammation, or illness. It occurs when temperature rises above 37.7 degrees celsius. A "significant fever" is usually defined as an oral or ear temperature of 39 degrees celsius. Most cases of fever are self-limiting.

Doctors may recommend fever-reducing medicines only when the temperature is at 38.8 degrees celsius. Otherwise, supportive treatments are recommended. On the other hand, the underlying cause of the fever (for example, infection) should be treated. Antibiotics are given to eradicate the infection thus, lowering the fever.

Symptoms
  • Body temperature of 37.8 degrees celsius and above
  • Sweating; shivering
  • Headache; muscle aches
  • Poor appetite
  • General weakness
  • Uncontrollable crying (babies)
  • Shallow breathing
  • Flushed look; rashes
  • Very high fevers (39 degrees celsius- 41 degrees celsius) may cause hallucinations, confusion, irritability, and even convulsions.

Assessing a baby's fever

Under the following conditions, a child's fever should be considered serious and must be immediately brought to a doctor:

  • Age less than 2 months old
  • 40.5 degrees celsius on a rectal thermometer
  • Convulsions
  • Baby keeps on crying especially when touched or moved
  • Spots or rashes
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • History of chronic illness
  • Signs of dehydration: infrequent urination, dark yellow urine, scant tears and saliva, and dry lips, or sunken eyes and fontanel
  • A fever that does not subside despite medication
Risk Factors
  • Infections (colds, flu, sore throat, boils, etc) and other disease states
  • Dehydration, heat exhaustion, extreme sunburn
  • Certain medications (antibiotics, antihypertensive and anticonvulsants)
  • Certain types of tumors and cancers.
  • Skin problems such as injuries and cuts
  • Immunization
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Wear comfortable, light clothing.
  • Bathe in lukewarm water.
  • Monitor temperature every 2 to 4 hours.
  • If the temperature exceeds 39 degrees celsius, a sponge bath may bring the temperature down. Check body temperature every 30 minutes.
  • To address the underlying cause of fever, see a doctor.
Next »
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