Fever – Causes and Symptoms of Fever

Fever is an elevation in temperature of a body. The normal temperature of an individual is 98.6 F or 37 degrees C. But if this level elevates and increases above 100.4 F or 38 degrees C, the condition is referred to as fever. Fever serves as body’s defense mechanism against viruses and bacteria that cannot live at a high temperatures. Fever is considered as a part of illness and remains for a few days. In some cases, it can be a sign of something more serious disease.

Causes of Fever

The body temperature of an individual is according to a circadian rhythm i.e it varies throughout the day. It is higher in afternoon and evening and lower in the morning. The normal body temperature is 98.6 F or 37 degrees C. The factors such as heavy exercise and menstrual cycle also effect the body temperature.

The causes for fever are:

  • Immunizations such as diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines given to infants and children
  • Some medications, such as drugs and antibiotics that are used to treat high blood pressures or seizures
  • Malignant tumor or some forms of kidney cancer
  • Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Extreme sunburn
  • Heat exhaustion or burns
  • Some infections such as pneumonia, flu, strep throat, gastroenteritis and chickenpox
  • Tissue injuries or trauma
  • Other medical conditions such as metabolic disorders, gout, hyperthyroidism

In some rare cases, it is very difficult to identify the cause of fever. If the high temperature remains for more than 3-4 weeks and even the doctor is not able to find the cause, the fever can be of unknown origin.

Symptoms of Fever

A feverish sensation may occur when the body temperature is above the normal. The signs and symptoms of fever are:

  • General weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Shivering
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty in breathing

The following symptoms are observed if the fever is too high i.e in the range of 39.4 degrees C (103 F) to 41.1 degrees C (106 F).

  • Convulsions
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

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