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What is a Fever?

young boy with feverWhat is a fever?  A fever is a temporary increase in your body’s temperature, usually caused by and a symptom of an illness.  A fever can be somewhat uncomfortable, but will subside within a few days with proper bed-rest and some over-the-counter medications that may lower the fever.  Here are a few questions you may have about a fever and how to treat it.

What causes a fever?

A fever is usually a response to an infection, or illnesses that may create a rise in body temperature.  Although a fever is usually associated with a cold, other causes of a fever can include ear infections, skin rash, or strep throat.

What are the symptoms of a fever?

Depending upon what may be the cause of your fever, some other signs and symptoms of a fever can be:

  • Chills and sweating
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • General weakness
  • Fatigue

Is a fever contagious?

No matter what the illness is, if you’re child have a fever, you should keep them home.  While your child may be suffering from “just a cold” a fever could be the sign of a contagious condition.  The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention recommend staying home for at least 24 hours after your symptoms have cleared up.

How long does a fever last?

Depending upon the type of infection, a fever can last two as little as two week and can sometimes last as long as two weeks.

What should I do if I have a fever?

Rest up and drink plenty of fluids.  Unless you’re coughing won’t let up, or if your muscles are aching, medication ins’t really necessary.  But the best thing you can do is when you have a fever is to allow it to run its course.  It will come down eventually.

When should you worry about a fever?

Since a fever usually accompanies a cold, it’s something to fret over.  You should be concerned with a fever if and when your temperature reaches over 103F, lasts for more than seven days, and if the fever symptoms don’t subside.

When should I see a doctor?

You should visit a medical professional if your symptoms haven’t eased in over a week’s time.  If you’re feeling worried and want a doctor’s evaluation, visit AFC Urgent Care Watertown.  We’re open seven days a week with convenient night and weekend hours.  For more information about the services we provide, please call to speak with one of our medical professionals at 617-923-2273.