Fever: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Fever refers to a high body temperature.A region of your brain that controls temperature is known as the hypothalamus. Whenever there is a contamination, illness, or any other factor, the hypothalamus may cause the body to increase its temperature. So, when you are feeling a high temperature, your body signals something is wrong. 

What is a Fever?

Fever refers to a high body temperature. The condition is also known as hyperthermia or pyrexia, and it commonly indicates that your body is trying to keep you in a good physical condition from infection. The average body temperature varies from individual to individual but generally lies within 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit. When a temperature exceeds 100.4, it is considered a fever.

Symptoms of Fever

An individual suffering from fever may feel very uncomfortable. There are several symptoms associated with fever, including: 

  • Temperatures higher than 100.4 F (38 C) in adults and children.
  • Shaking, shivering, and chills.
  • Pain in the muscles or joints.
  • Migraine.
  • Sweating excessively or intermittently.
  • An elevated heart rate or palpitations.
  • Hot or flushed skin.
  • A feeling of faintness, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
  • Pain in the eyes or a burning sensation.
  • Tiredness.
  • Loss of hunger.
  • Fussiness (in infants and toddlers).

In addition, children may exhibit symptoms of an infection, including sore throats, coughs, earaches, vomiting, and diarrhea. Convulsions, hallucinations, or confusion may occur at high temperatures (>104 F/40 C). You should seek medical attention whenever you experience a high fever or other symptoms.

Causes of Fever


A fever develops when the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that controls the body’s temperature) moves the set point of the body’s average temperature ascensional. As a result, you may feel chills, put on coats of clothing or enfold in a comforter, or shiver to produce excess body heat, finally leading to high body temperature. 

It is usual for the body temperature to fluctuate all over the day – it is lower in the day and elevated in the afternoon and night. Even though many individuals believe 98.6 F (37.2 C) to be an average body temperature, your body temperature may change by one or more degrees – from about 97 F (36.1 C) to 99 F (37.2 C) and still be viewed as usual. 

High body temperatures can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Viral infection.
  • Bacterial infection.
  • Exhaustion due to heat.
  • The covering of your joints (synovium) can become inflamed due to certain swelling situations, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Cancerous tumors.
  • Certain medicines, including antibiotics and medicines, treat hypertension or seizures.
  • Vaccination, such as those for diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP), and pneumococcal inoculation.

However, do not assume that something is wrong if you or your kid have a greater-than-average body temperature with no other signs of illness. An individual’s body temperature varies throughout the day concerning various everyday functions and emotions. For example, stress, excitement, heavy dressing, food, medicines intake, periods, and exercise can all raise body temperature. Furthermore, children generally have a greater body temperature than adults. 

Risk factors

Youngsters aged six months and five years might suffer from fever-induced convulsions (febrile seizures), characterized by dropping awareness and shivering of the limbs on both sides of the body. Despite being distressing for the mother and father, febrile seizures do not have a long-term effect. 

Take the following steps if your child experiences a seizure:

  • Lie your child on their stomach or side on the floor.
  • Ensure that no sharp objects are close to your child.
  • Remove any compressed clothing.
  • Grasp your child tight to avoid injury.
  • Try not to put anything inside your kid’s mouth or attempt to end the seizure.

Seizures usually are self-sustaining. If the seizure lasts more than five minutes, contact emergency medical assistance. 

Treatment of Fever

There are many effective ways to reduce high fevers.

The counter Medication:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) effectively reduce fevers among children and adults. Healthcare providers may suggest you to use both types of medications.
  • Doctors usually recommend taking acetaminophen every 4 to 6 hours. This medication reduces the brain’s temperature.
  • Taking ibuprofen every six to eight hours helps reduce fever. Please avoid giving ibuprofen to children of six months of age or younger.
  • Aspirin is the most effective remedy for curing fever in adults. Please avoid giving aspirin to a child until your child’s doctor recommends it.

Be familiar with the bodyweight to determine the appropriate quantity (go through the indications on the package). Before giving medicine to children aged three months or younger, consult your child’s healthcare provider. 

Home remedies

Colds or other viral infections can become the reason of high fever (102°F to 104°F or 38.9°C to 40°C). These infections do not necessarily indicate the severity of the problem. Sometimes, extreme conditions do not result in fever or can cause a shallow body temperature, most commonly in the newborn. 

It is unnecessary to seek treatment if you have a mild fever and have no other health problems. Keep hydrated and rest.

In this case, the illness is not likely to be severe.

  • Remains interested in playing.
  • Eats and drinks usually.
  • Active and smiling.
  • Normal skin tone.
  • When the temperature goes down, it appears well.

In case of discomfort, vomiting, dehydration, or difficulty sleeping, take the following steps to reduce the fever. The purpose is to lower the fever rather than eliminate it. 

  • If someone has the chills, do not bundle them up.
  • Remove any excess clothing and blankets and make the room comfortable, not too hot or cold. 
  • Consider wearing lightweight clothing and a light blanket while sleeping and if the room is hot or full of stuff, consider using a fan.
  • A little warm or sponge bath can help in reducing fever because it is effective after taking medication. Otherwise, the temperature might rise again.
  • Avoid using cold baths, ice, or alcohol products. Cooling agents often cause shivering, which raises the body’s core temperature and cools the skin.

Drinking plenty of fluids is essential for everyone, especially children. Water, ice pops, soup, or gelatin are all excellent options. Avoid giving too much fruit juices or sports drinks to young children. Moreover, it is also not appropriate to force food upon young children.

When to see a doctor?

Fever itself is generally not dangerous, but you should consult your physician if:

  • The temperature of an adult is more significant than 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
  •  A newborn (under three months) has a rectal temperature of 100.4 or greater (consult with your doctor immediately or go to the hospital).
  • 3-5 months-old who are irritable or sleepy and have a higher rectal temperature than average should consult their doctor immediately.
  • A 6-24 months-old child has a fever higher than 102 degrees for more than a day or other signs, like cough or diarrhea.
  • A child older than two years of age has a fever accompanied by a rash, irritability, restlessness, headache, firm neck, or continuous diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Temperatures over 104 degrees Fahrenheit may cause a seizure in a child.
  • The onset of fever after exposure to hot temperatures can signify heatstroke.
  • The fever did not subside after taking un-prescribed medications like ibuprofen in the correct dosage.
  • You may also need to treat other symptoms of an illness, like a sore throat, ear pain, or cough.
  • Experienced intermittent fevers for up to a week, although the temperature was not very high.

The healthcare provider will conduct a physical examination. To determine the cause of the fever, physicians may examine the skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, neck, chest, and abdomen. The treatment for a fever relies on the duration and reason of the condition and other symptoms. 

Diagnostic tests may include the following:

  • CBCs or blood differentials.
  • Urine test.
  • Chest X-Ray.

Preventions from Fever

One of the best ways to prevent fever is to limit exposure to infectious agents. Infectious agents often cause a rise in body temperature. Below are some steps you can take to reduce your exposure:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating, after using the toilet, and after being around large groups of people.
  • Teach your children how to wash hands properly with soap.
  • Take sanitizers or antibacterial wipes with you in case you do not have access to soap and water.
  • Do not touch your nose, mouth, or eyes. This practice makes it easier for bacteria and viruses to enter your body and cause contamination.
  • When you cough and sneeze, cover your mouth and nose. Instruct your children to do the same.
  • Do not share cups, glasses, or utensils with others.



  • https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/fevers-causes-symptoms-treatments retrieved on April 15, 2022. 
  • https://www.medicinenet.com/aches_pain_fever/article.htm retrieved on April 15, 2022. 
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/symptoms-causes/syc-20352759#:~:text=A%20fever%20is%20a%20temporary,(39.4%20C)%20or%20higher retrieved on April 15, 2022. 
  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/10880-fever retrieved on April 15, 2022. 

https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/patient-information/conditions-treated-a-to-z/fever retrieved on April 15, 2022.

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