The cause of fever is straightforward, and it’s normal to experience fevers. This is because a fever is the body’s natural response to bacteria and viruses that penetrate the regular defense systems. When these invaders enter the body, the immune system responds by raising the temperature to a level in which many bacterium and viruses can no longer survive. In general, a low-grade fever is not concerning and should dissipate over a period of several days. However, it is difficult for the average individual to determine when a fever should be concerning, especially since fevers frequently occur in conjunction with other symptoms like cough, sore throat, and drowsiness.
What Counts as a Fever?
The first step in identifying the types of fever is figuring out whether or not someone has one in the first place. Unfortunately, because a fever is developed internally, there may be some confusion about how to measure it. The simplest way to measure one is by using a human thermometer designed to be inserted orally or rectally for an adequate readout.
Because there is some natural variation in human body temperature, there is no single value that represents a fever. However, medical professionals agree that the following temperatures qualify as fevers when taken with the associated methods:
- Oral: Above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 C)
- Rectal: Above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C)
- Ear: Above 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 C)
- Axillary (Armpit): Above 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37.2 C)
- Forehead: Above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
Once an individual knows how to measure it, the next step is identifying the type of fever and what is causing it.
What Are the Types of Fever?
There are multiple types of fever, and each one needs to be treated differently to manage the cause of the symptoms adequately. When determining the best course of treatment for an illness, medical professionals consider the type of fever as well as its duration to create a differential diagnosis and proper management.
Most fevers fall into one of five categories:
- Continuous: A fever that maintains its temperature for 24 hours with a temperature variation of 1 degree Fahrenheit
- Cyclical Recurrent: A fever that recurs over several weeks with spans of symptom-free periods in between each recurrence
- Intermittent: A period that occurs at the same time in 24 hours for several days with periods of no symptoms in between each occurrence
- Remittent: A fever where the temperature is above normal all day and fluctuates by 2 degrees Celsius throughout 24 hours
- Septic: A high-temperature fever that does not see improvement when the sufferer takes antipyretics (fever reducers)
What to Do When You Can’t Identify a Fever
If you or a loved one is suffering from a fever and can’t determine what category it falls under, you might be concerned about seeking the right medical treatment. Sometimes an individual could be suffering from what is called a “fever of unknown origin.” This fever reaches temperatures over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, lasts more than three weeks, and isn’t associated with other symptoms like weight loss.
When somebody has a fever of unknown origin, it is important to visit a hospital immediately, as the fever can be a sign of a serious prognosis like a lingering infection or long term illness. After all, the body is struggling to combat some sort of invasion and needs assistance.
Besides fevers of unknown origin, it can still be difficult to manage the associated symptoms properly. When a fever spikes over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it is time to be concerned. When the body sustains a high-grade fever, it can start to damage itself or lose control of temperature regulation. On average, any fever over 100.4 degrees in a child is cause for concern, while adults can sustain a fever up to 102 degrees before medical intervention is needed.
What to Do About Prolonged Fever
If you or someone you know is suffering from a fever associated with headache, a sore throat, sweating, chills, cold flashes, or similar symptoms and the temperature has spiked, it is time to see a doctor. You frequently won’t have time to make an appointment, so visiting a location like Alamo City Urgent Care can be essential to getting fast diagnosis and treatment. For more information, visit this website: https://alamocityuc.com