What are fevers?
A fever is a higher than normal body temperature. It is caused by the body’s immune system response to a bacterial or viral infection. In most cases, the infection stimulates the body to increase white blood cell production and to produce & retain heat.
- A fever in an adult is present with an oral temperature of 98.6°F
- A fever in an child is present with an oral temperature of 99.5°F
There are numerous causes for a fever. Several of the more common include:
- Flu (virus)
- Gastroenteritis (virus or bacteria)
- Middle ear infection (virus or bacteria)
- Strep throat (bacteria)
- Pneumonia (virus or bacteria)
Individuals can also experience fevers without an underlying cause. These are called fevers of unknown origin.
Several at-home treatments include:
- Lightweight clothing
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Soak in lukewarm bath
If the primary care physician approves, fever reducers my also be used to alleviate discomfort.
NOTE: Prolonged fevers can indicate more serious conditions. Please consult with a PCP at the outset of a fever pattern.