When to worry about a fever in adults
What is a fever?
A fever is abnormal rise in normal body temperature level.
In general, you are said to have fever when your body temperature is above 100.4ºF (38ºC). But this reading can vary slightly depending on how you take your temperature – oral (mouth), armpit, ear, forehead, or rectal.
Best way to take temperature: Armpit, ear, and forehead temperatures are easier to measure than rectal or oral temperatures, but they are very not as accurate.
Right way to take an oral temperature:
Wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything hot or cold.
Clean the thermometer.
Place the tip of the thermometer under the tongue toward the back. Hold the thermometer with lips, not teeth.
Keep lips closed around the thermometer. A glass thermometer takes about 3 minutes to work. Most digital thermometers take less than 1 minute.
During fever, height of the temperature is less important than how sick you feel.
Causes of fever
The most common cause of fever in adults is infection. Common infections that can cause fever include:
Some people can get very sick from the flu. But most of these infections are not serious and get better on their own.
When should you consult the doctor?
Usually mild infection can improve in few days but sometimes fever could be sign of some serious disease.
Consult the doctor if you get a fever and you:
Get frequent infection
Are on chemotherapy ( Cancer treatment)
Recently got back from a trip to Africa, Latin America, or the Middle East
Take medication to suppress immunity like steroids
Just had surgery or another medical procedure
You should also consult doctor if you have
Temperature that goes above 100.4ºF (38.0ºC) for more than 1 hour or if it goes above 101ºF (38.3ºC) even just 1 time.
Fever that lasts several days or keeps coming back
A recent insect bite
Serious health condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, lupus, or sickle cell anemia
Fever plus 1 or more of these symptoms:
Difficulty in breathing or chest heaviness
Severe headache or neck pain
Severe or recurrent vomiting or diarrhea
Severe pain anywhere in body
Seizure, confusion or unconsciousness
Change in behaviour
Any other symptom that is unusual