Fever

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Aches, pain, fever facts

  • Although a fever could be considered any body temperature above the normal 98.6 F (37 C), medically, a person is not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38.0 C).
  • Most fever is beneficial, causes no problems, and helps the body fight off infections. The main reason for treating a fever is to increase comfort.
  • Fever is the result of an immune response by your body to a foreign invader. These foreign invaders include viruses, bacteria, fungi, drugs or other toxins.
  • Children under 3 months of age with a temperature of 100.4 F (38.0 C) or greater should be seen by a health care professional. They may be quite ill and not show any signs or symptoms besides a fever. Infants less than 6 weeks of age should be seen immediately by their doctor.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can be used to treat a fever. Aspirin should not be used in children or adolescents to control fever.
  • The prognosis for a fever depends on the cause. Most cases of fever are self-limited and resolve with symptomatic treatment.
  • A person who is taking immunosuppressant drugs or who has a history of or diagnosis of cancer, AIDS, or other serious illness, such as heart disease or diabetes, should seek medical care if a fever develops.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/27/2014

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Fever - Treatments Question: What treatments helped to reduce your fever?
Fever - Signs and Symptoms Question: What signs and symptoms did you or your child experience along with a fever?
Fever - Complications Question: Did you or your child experience any complications when you had fever? If so, what were they?

When to Call the Doctor: Fever, Nausea, Diarrhea, Colds, and Coughs

Fever is a routine symptom in infants and children. It is a normal immune response to an infection to generate an elevated body temperature and make the body inhospitable. That doesn't mean that the fever should be ignored, but if the child is otherwise doing well, treating the fever with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be all that is needed.


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