A fever is a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The fever is actually a good sign – it shows the body is working to destroy viral and bacterial invaders. A fever stimulates an inflammatory response, sending special cells to the area of infection for protection, prevention, and healing. The body is also producing natural antibodies to fight the infection, and recognize this particular infection if it arises again.
A fever can be caused by any number of conditions. The most frequent are:
- Infectious diseases;
- Some medications;
- Heat stroke;
- Blood transfusion;
- Brain disorder.
Children can be given acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help break a fever. Do not given children aspirin, which has been linked to the potentially serious Reye syndrome. Both children and adults should drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
A physician’s visit, or an Emergency Room visit is warranted if a child or adult has a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
Source: Centers for Disease Control