Fever is sudden elevation in body temperature accompanied with excessive intermittent perspiration and/or cough, chills, fatigue nausea, sore throat Shivering or shaking, palpitations etc. Body Temperature above 100.4F is regarded as fever. Fever associated with other clinical syndromes including repeated vomiting, severe diarrhea, or skin rashes indicates virulence of chickenpox, dengue fever, rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, strep throat, Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fever is a natural adaptation by body’s defense system-to raise the temperature, in presence of bacteria, viruses, fungi, drugs, allergens or other toxins and other pathogens. These pathogens in body effectuate the release of fever producing substances termed pyrogens in body, that stimulate hypothalamus region in brain to raise body temperature. The higher body temperature in fever brings about greater efficiency of body’s immune system at higher body temperature. In a state of fever, immune cells such as lymphocytes, phagocytes and neutrophils are engaged to fight the pathogens present in the body. Body temperature between 98.4 F and 100.4 F (38 C) is considered a low-grade fever. A physiological condition where body temperature is more than 104 F is indication of critical medical condition and requires utmost medical attention. High fever (>103 F/40 C) or prolonged durations of body fever can lead to dehydration, hallucinations and seizures. Fever is different from the state of hypothermia, in which body temperature is raised in response heat shock or thermo-regulation.
With the advent of digital thermometers, oral temperature reading is given preference over axillary thermometers (under arm) and Tympanic (ear) thermometers. With exception to recommended pediatric dose for children by pediatrician, Acetaminophen under different labels can be used to lower fever. In adult patients without liver disease or other health problems, can take 1,000 mg every six hours or as directed by your physician. A person suffering from critical medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or any major illness or under medication on immunosuppressant drugs should strictly take symptomatic treatment under medical supervision. Aspirin should not be used for fever in children or adolescents as it could lead to Reye's syndrome associated with prolonged vomiting, confusion, liver failure and comma.
Incidents of fever can be averted by keeping child’s immunization up-to-date, maintaining proper hygiene, washing hands frequently and a restricted contact with patients.