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Fever

Fever

A fever is the body’s internal coping mechanism. A fever is when the body temperature increases and the fever then acts as a sign to show that something out of the ordinary is happening inside the body.1

Most people believe that the severity of a fever is dependent on the severity of the illness however, this is not the case.2 A fever often assists the body’s immune system in fighting off the infection.3

 

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What is a normal body temperature?

The normal body temperature range of an individual is around 37 degrees centigrade - give or take a degree depending on the individual.4 Also, minor fluctuations in temperature may occur depending on what time of the day it is.5

 

What causes a fever?

When the body’s natural thermostat shifts, it forces the normal temperature of the body to increase and this is when the fever occurs. Fevers can be caused by:7,8

  • Viruses (i.e. colds, upper respiratory tract infection)
  • Bacterial infections
  • Heat exhaustion and heat stroke (i.e. fever without sweating)
  • Extreme sunburn
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Some medications and immunizations

The most common cause of a fever is an infection however, the cause can sometimes be unidentified.9,10

 

What are common fever symptoms?

Fever symptoms can vary depending on what is causing the fever. Some symptoms of a mild fever (fever temperature of 37 – 39.4°C) include:11,12

  • Feeling unwell
  • Feeling hot and sweaty
  • Shivering
  • Chattering teeth
  • Flushed face
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • General weakness

 

What are the treatment and relief options available to help with fevers?

There are various treatments that can help with fevers and provide relief. However, the severity and the cause of the fever will determine which treatment method is most appropriate. Consult a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment for you.

 

References:

  1. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  2. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  3. NPS Australia, How do I treat a fever?, [Accessed 24 January 2017] http://www.nps.org.au/conditions/respiratory-problems/respiratory-tract-infections/for-individuals/symptoms/relieving-the-symptoms-of-a-respiratory-tract-infection/how-do-i-treat-a-fever
  4. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  5. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  6. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  7. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  8. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  9. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  10. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  11. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  12. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  13. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  14. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  15. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  16. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  17. Better Health Channel, Medications – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, [Accessed 11 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/medications-non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory-drugs
  18. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  19. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  20. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  21. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  22. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  23. Better Health, Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fever
  24. Mayo Clinic, Diseases & Conditions – Fever, [Accessed 23 January 2017] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
  25. NPS Australia, How do I treat a fever?, [Accessed 24 January 2017] http://www.nps.org.au/conditions/respiratory-problems/respiratory-tract-infections/for-individuals/symptoms/relieving-the-symptoms-of-a-respiratory-tract-infection/how-do-i-treat-a-fever
  26. NPS Australia, How do I treat a fever?, [Accessed 24 January 2017] http://www.nps.org.au/conditions/respiratory-problems/respiratory-tract-infections/for-individuals/symptoms/relieving-the-symptoms-of-a-respiratory-tract-infection/how-do-i-treat-a-fever