WHAT IS A FEVER?
A fever is a temporary increase in your body temperature, often due to an illness, like the flu. Before a fever hits, however, you may actually experience chills—a possible indicator of a fever to come.1 Chills are a way for your body to generate heat, and are a result of the rapid contraction and relaxation of your muscles.1 It’s part of your body’s defense system, as a slight fever activates your body’s immune system, making it harder for the bacteria and viruses that cause the infections to survive. The persistent muscle contraction and relaxation. If you have a fever, it’s a pretty good bet that something out of the ordinary is going on with your body.2
What are symptoms associated with fever?
You have a fever when your internal body temperature rises above the normal 98.6° F (37° C). Additional fever symptoms may include2:
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- General weakness
What causes a fever?
Fever or elevated body temperature might be caused by3:
- A virus, like the flu
- A bacterial infection
- Heat exhaustion
- Extreme sunburn
- Certain inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis — inflammation of the lining of your joints (synovium)
- A malignant tumor
- Some medications, such as antibiotics and drugs used to treat high blood pressure or seizures
- Some immunizations, such as the diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP), or pneumococcal vaccine
Is a fever serious?
Fevers generally go away on their own after a few days. However, if you’ve had a fever for more than 3 days, or if your temperature rises above 103° F (39.4° C), contact your doctor. If a high fever is left unchecked, it may cause hallucinations, confusion, and/or convulsions.3
How do you treat a fever?
As always, when you're sick, you should drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest, and in the case of a fever, try to stay as cool as possible.4
For a low grade fever, it’s often best to do nothing and let it run its course. In the case of a high-grade fever, you can take aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. Theraflu® ExpressMax® Severe Cold & Flu Caplets contains fever-reducing acetaminophen. It also includes ingredients that treat nasal congestion, cough, body aches, sore throat, headache, and chest congestion.
If you need to see a doctor, you might be prescribed an antibiotic.
1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Chills. Retrieved June, 25, 2019, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003091.htm
2. Mayo Clinic (2014, May 29). Fever: Symptoms. Retrieved June, 25, 2019, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/definition/con-20019229
3. Mayo Clinic (2014, May 29). Fever: Causes. Retrieved June, 25, 2019, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/causes/con-20019229
4. Mayo Clinic (2014, May 29). Fever: Lifestyle and home remedies. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20019229
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