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Fever - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Usually our body temperature remains at 37°C (98.6°F) which is said to be normal temperature. In some people, it can be 1° more or 1 ° less. When the body temperature is more than the normal temperature it is called fever.

Fever is not a disease but is only a symptom of a disease. It is indicative of some disease that the body is being subjected to. It is a mechanism that the body adopts in order to control and stop the growth and spread of the harmful bacteria and thereby protect the body from their influence. As the day progresses, the temperature varies-it may increase or decrease. For example, it may be less in the morning and may increase as the day advances to the evening. The temperature may be a little more immediately after the consumption of some warm drinks. That does not indicate any fever. Body temperature can be measured keeping the thermometer either in the mouth or under the arm. (There are special thermometers which can be kept in the ear to read the temperature).

It is usual for the temperature to change in the following situations:

  • When dressed in very tight garments during exercise.
  • When the climate is too hot or too cold.
  • When hormones change (In certain times every month, temperature increases in women).
  • If the body temperature exceeds 37.5°C (100°F), under circumstances other than the above, it means there is fever. If there is no uneasy feeling , this temperature need not be a causes for worry and can be ignored.

Causes of fever

  • Cold or cough.
  • Measles.
  • Jaundice.
  • Malaria.
  • Typhoid.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Ear infection.
  • Mumps.

Symptoms of fever

  • Headache.
  • Vomiting.
  • Cold feeling.
  • Weakness.
  • Body pain.
  • Giddiness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Shivering.

Treatment for fever

Before getting medical help, you may take some of the following steps to reduce the fever.

  • Apply a cold wet cloth on the forehead every five minutes.
  • Plenty of water should be given to drink. It helps to bring down the temperature. Unless water is given to drink, temperature does not come down in spite of good medication.
  • Give medication to lower the fever (acetaminophen suppositories in the rectum, if available). Oral medications should not be given until the child is awake.
  • DO NOT use cold baths or alcohol rubs. These cool the skin, but often make the situation worse by causing shivering, which raises the core body temperature.
  • Aspirin is very effective for treating fever in adults. DO NOT give aspirin to children.

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