Fever is a rise in body temperature above the standard body temperature point. The average person’s standard body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C). A fever is usually considered a temperature above 100.4°F (38°C).
A fever can be caused by many different things, including infections, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and cancers. A fever is often the first sign of an infection. It occurs when the body’s immune system kicks into gear to fight the infection.
A fever is not always a sign of a severe illness, and it can be helpful. A fever may help the body fight off an infection by making it harder for the bacteria or virus to grow. A fever may also help the body to produce better antibodies, which are proteins that fight off infections.
However, a fever can also signify a serious illness, such as meningitis or sepsis.
There are many different ways to treat a fever. The best way to treat a fever depends on its cause and how severe it is. In most cases, rest and fluids are all that is needed. However, if the fever is very high or lasts more than a few days, you may need medication to bring it down. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Option+ and Advil) and acetaminophen (Option+ and Tylenol) could be very helpful in controlling the fever.
If your fever is accompanied by other symptoms, such as a headache or stiff neck, you should immediately see a doctor.