Fever is the body's natural response to an underlying condition, and is usually caused by infections, viruses, and other illnesses. When you have a fever, your body temperature rises, creating an uncomfortable environment for the source of the disease (which usually dies within a few days). In general, a person is considered to have a fever if the body temperature exceeds 38 °C. Read on to learn how to recognize a fever and get advice on what to do when a fever causes a more serious medical condition.
Method 1 of 2: Diagnosing a Fever
Step 1. Use a thermometer (if you have one) to take your temperature
If the body temperature reaches 39.4 °C or less, try to handle it yourself, and see if the fever subsides with home remedies. If the body temperature reaches 40 °C or more, immediately call emergency services or go to the hospital. You may need immediate medical attention.
Call a doctor if the body temperature reaches 39 °C that lasts for at least 3 days
Step 2. Try to feel the skin
If the skin of a person with a fever feels very hot to the touch, he or she may have a fever. However, this method is not reliable because it will be difficult for you to know the exact temperature (whether 37 °C or 38.4 °C). If the skin is hot to the touch, look for other symptoms or buy a thermometer at the pharmacy to see if the person needs medical intervention.
Step 3. Check for signs of dehydration
Fever occurs when the body raises its internal temperature to fight off a virus, infection, or other dangerous disease. Some research has found that certain immune cells perform better when the body temperature is high. This is a natural defense mechanism. One of the significant consequences in people with fever when the body temperature rises is dehydration.
Signs that indicate that a person is dehydrated include:
- dry mouth
- Headache and tired
- Dry skin
- Dehydration can get worse if the patient has diarrhea or vomiting. If you experience any of these conditions, drink plenty of fluids to replace what was lost. If you find it difficult to drink fluids, try chewing small pieces of ice cubes.
Step 4. Check for muscle pain
In most cases, muscle aches are associated with dehydration, and can get worse if the patient has a fever. Notes: Call the doctor immediately if the fever is accompanied by stiffness in the back or muscles because this condition may be associated with several other conditions, such as kidney problems or bacterial meningitis, which have the potential to cause brain damage.
Step 5. Watch for signs of a severe fever
If the fever reaches 40 °C or more, you can experience several things, such as hot flashes (skin redness and feeling hot), muscle aches, dehydration, headaches, and feeling weak. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms, or if your fever is over 40 °C:
- Having hallucinations
- Feeling confused or irritable
- Convulsions or seizures
Step 6. Go to the doctor if you have any doubts
Go to the doctor if you treat a child who has a potential fever whose temperature exceeds 39.4 °C. It's usually safe to treat a mild or moderate fever yourself at home. However, sometimes the underlying cause of the fever may require serious medical attention.
If you have a high fever or your symptoms are affecting your body's ability to do its job, ask a family member or friend to take you to the doctor. In this condition, it is very dangerous if you try to go to the doctor yourself
Method 2 of 2: Getting Basic Treatment for Fever
Step 1. Understand that some doctors recommend that you let a low (mild) fever go away on its own
Fever is the body's natural response to foreign objects. Stopping the fever when the body has not had time to attack the foreign object that entered it can prolong the illness or mask other symptoms associated with the fever.
Step 2. Take over-the-counter pain relievers
Over-the-counter pain relievers (such as NSAIDs) can relieve the discomfort associated with fever. Low doses of NSAIDs can usually give good results.
- Aspirin should only be taken by adults. Children should not take aspirin because it has been linked to a dangerous condition called Reye's syndrome. Therefore, aspirin should only be taken by adults.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) are substitute drugs that can be taken by people of all ages. If your temperature remains high after taking the recommended dose of the drug, don't take more of it, but go see a doctor.
Step 3. Drink plenty of fluids
Fluids are very important ingredients for people with fever because it will reduce the risk of dehydration, which is a serious problem when a fever occurs. Drink plenty of water when you have a fever. Tea and soda (in moderation) can also help soothe the stomach. In addition to solid foods, try enjoying warm soups or other liquid broths. You can also eat ice lollipops because they give a cold sensation when you eat them.
If left untreated, dehydration can make the fever worse
- One moment you may feel hot, and the next you may feel cold. Usually, this is a sign that you have the flu (though not always).
- Take vitamins. Vitamin C is the best ingredient to treat a cold (cold). You can also drink it even if you are not sick because this vitamin can reduce the chance of getting sick.
- Touch the cheek. If it feels hot, it means you have a fever.
- Drink a variety of cold and warm fluids throughout the day to help calm your body and meet your fluid needs.
- Feeling cold is usually a symptom of a fever, but it can also be a symptom of a serious condition, such as meningitis or hypothermia. If you have chills that are severe or last for more than 3 days, contact your doctor to diagnose the underlying cause.
- The body and cheeks will be a little red, but this is because of the heat. If you have an ice pack (an ice pack made of frozen gel), place the ice on your face or forehead to cool it down.
- Go to the doctor if the fever lasts more than 48 hours (in general), without decreasing.
- If you feel dizzy and can't stand up, wait until your condition improves before going for a walk.
- Get medical help right away if the fever reaches 40 °C or more for adults, 39 °C for children, or 38 °C for infants.