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Diseases & Conditions

Fever

FeverCausesMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTreatmentTypes

What is Fever?

The normal temperature of the human body is 37 C or 98.6 F. Any temperature that is more elevated than this is technically termed a fever. The other names are pyrexia and controlled hyperthermia.

Causes of Fever

The temperature of the human body increases when our body is fighting an infection. This is when one is said to have a fever. It is a very common symptom, as the majority of almost all the diseases that is known to us starts with an onset of fever. The human body is equipped with a unique defence system which fights the infection in our bodies. This infection in turn is caused by the entry of virus or bacteria, commonly known as germs, into our bodies. Some of the examples of the diseases caused by such bacteria/virus are common colds, AIDS, measles etc to name a few.

Medications for Fever

  • Administering Paracetomal i.e. ibuprofen tablets or syrup as per the patient’s age.
  • Aspirin can be administered if the patient is over the age of sixteen only.
  • Acetaminophen like Tylenol may be used to bring down the temperature.

Prevention of Fever

  • Practicing good habits and hygiene.
  • Reducing one’s exposure to diseases that are infectious.
  • Carrying hand-sanitizers at all times where there is no accessibility to water and soap.

Risk factors of Fever

The risk factors of pyrexia are not necessarily the direct cause of an ailment yet it is associated to the disease in one way or the other. There are no risk factors itself as it is just an indication that your body is fighting an infection which in turn may mean that you may be suffering from a health condition.

Symptoms of Fever

Symptoms of controlled hyperthermia can be further classified into two parts;

A) Low grade fever between 99 and 100.4 degrees F(rectal):

  • Headache and muscle-aches.
  • A feeling of general weakness.
  • Dehydration.
  • Chills or shivering.
  • Sweating
  • Lack of appetite

B) High grade fever between 103 degrees F and 106F(rectal):

  • Experiencing hallucinations
  • Having convulsions or in the case of children, seizures.
  • A feeling of confusion.
  • A feeling of stiffness in the neck.
  • A rash that is unusual.

Treatment for Fever

Fever by itself does not need medical attention. The cause must be determined and then treated. But it is vital to keep it in check especially if the patient is a child. The following are the different ways by which a fever is treated:

  • The room temperature should be maintained at a level comfortable to the patient.
  • Giving the patient plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration.
  • Do not use excessive clothing to cover the body e.g. Heavy blankets, quilts, sweaters etc.
  • The room should be properly ventilated for allowing fresh air.
  • If possible to give the patient ice cubes that he can suck on.

Types of Fever

  • The first type of fever is known as the intermittent fever when the body temperature rises only for a few hours in the day.
  • The next type is called the continuous fever when the body temperature remains elevated during the whole day and may vary just by a degree or so in a twenty four hour period.
  • The next type of pyrexia is called Remittant fever where, as in the continuous fever the temperature is high all through the day but it may vary by more than a degree or so in a twenty four hour period.
  • The medical fraternity is still unsure of the existence of the fourth type of fever known as the Pel-Ebstein. Here the fever remains high for the whole of a week and lower the next.
  • The next kind of fever is called neutropenic. In this case, the normal functioning of the immune system is not present. This kind of a fever is usually termed as an emergency.
  • A controlled hyperthermia, that is mild and of indistinctive pathology and origin,and occurring for a short duration of time, is called Febricula.