What is fever?
Fever is usually the symptom of an illness. So, we would concern about the causes of the underlying disease rather than the degree of fever. In most cases, fever is a natural immune response to defend against diseases and is not harmful.
The most common causes of fever are infections, e.g. influenza, upper respiratory tract infection or gastroenteritis. Moreover, dehydration may also be the cause of fever. We should pay attention to the possible risks of dehydration e.g. severe vomiting or diarrhea, especially in kids.
- Increase fluid intake, e.g. water, rice water, juice or soup, to reduce body temperature as well as to prevent dehydration.
- Wear light clothing and keep bedding light as body heat is mostly lost through the skin. Excess clothing can increase body temperature.
- Take a warm water bath or wipe the body with warm water (not with alcohol or ice-water). These are effective methods to lower the body temperature as the water evaporates from our skin.
- Maintain good indoor air circulation. Turn on the fan or an air-conditioner to lower the room temperature.
- Take fever medicine(s) as prescribed by doctor, which can help to keep the body temperature down.
- Patient looks dull or in altered mental status.
- For kids: convulsion, prolonged crying or sleep, poor appetite, unwillingness to play, persistent vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.
- Persistent fever higher than 40°C.
- Serious dehydration, e.g. dryness of mouth and tongue, loss of elasticity of the skin, sunken eyeballs.
In most cases, patients can recover from fever in a few days after taking adequate rest and medications. If not, please seek medical attention for reassessment.
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