Fever has been recognised as a sign of illness since ancient times. It can happen throughout the year, but can be particularly common during cold and flu season. In many cases a fever resolves itself and isn’t a cause for concern. Here’s a little more about fever, so you know the signs to look out for and the steps you can take.
What is a fever?
A fever is when your body temperature rises above the normal 37.2°C to help kill invading germs, like from cold and flu. This rise is usually caused by substances called pyrogens – released when you’ve got an infection – that act on the thermostat in your brain. Fever can also accompany common ailments including;
What are the symptoms of fever?
Symptoms that normally accompany a fever include:
- Hot skin
- Fast breathing
How can you relieve a fever?
As fever is your body's mechanism to overcome invading germs, you only need to relieve a fever if you feel unwell. However, it's important to drink plenty of water to help replenish the fluid you lose through sweating. It's also crucial to get lots of rest if you need to. To help bring your temperature down, you could try taking a lukewarm bath or a pain-reliever containing ibuprofen - it's the active ingredient in Nurofen and can help to lower temperature.
When is a fever cause for concern?
Always see a doctor if:
- The fever is accompanied by a stiff neck, confusion or irritability
- The fever stays above 39.4ºC for longer than 2 hours
- The fever lasts longer than 2 days
- The fever goes above 40.6ºC
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If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
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prescribe. In all health related matters please contact your doctor.