What is fever and how it is caused and treated?

What is fever

      In general terms Fever is defined as the increased body temperature than normal for certain time period. The normal body temperature is around 37C (Celsius) or 98F (Fahrenheit). If  the temperature goes above 38C or 100F, that is said to be pyretic or fever condition. It is an immune response against pathogenic microbes called antigens (foreign to our body). Some times it appears as  an indication of protection against pathogens by increasing the temperature to resolve the infection. Pyrogens like Interleukins, Prostaglandins, Tumor necrosis factor and other inflammatory mediators are released to send signals to Immune producing cells called Lymphocytes of White blood cells to kill the infectious agents. If the temperature rises beyond the threshold level it may leads to complications like seizures(fits). 



    Based on the time period and severity of symptoms fevers are of different kinds like,

  • Continuous fever – High Temperature will stand throughout with least fluctuations. Ex- Endocarditis, Urinary tract Infections,Typhoid etc.,
  • Intermittent fever – Drastic fluctuations observed within a few hours, i.e.,high temperature retains for some hours and normal body temperature will be observed in the remaining hours. Temperature may during during night and morning hours. Ex- Malaria, Septicemia etc.,
  • Viral fevers – Fever caused by viral infections. High temperature for few days and normal temperature for other few days in a week will be observed. Ex- Influenza virus, Varicella zoster virus, Ebola virus etc.,


  How is it caused                                                                                                      

  • When Immune system gets activated by pyrogens to fight against an infection body temperature rises and get lowered after the immune response reaction to maintain homeostasis in the body. 
  • Some of the factors involved in the occurrence of fever are, 
  • Entry of Infectious agents like bacteria,virus and other microbial infections in the body activates immune system and causes fever. 
  • Some times Cancer /malignant tumor presence is also an indication by causing fever. Inflammatory conditions and auto-immune diseases also causes fever.Ex- Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease etc., 
  • Exposure to high temperatures like Heat stroke due to sunlight also induces fever.
  • Dehydration, Water loss from the body may affect homeostasis and causes fever. 
  • Infections to different organs like lungs,liver, kidneys etc also causes fever.
  • Medications like antibiotics, and some drug abuse conditions also causes fever occasionally.   

  Signs and symptoms                                                                                 

  • Increased body temperature to 101-103F. 
  • Shivering and feeling highly cold. 
  • Pain in eyes and burning sensation in eyes at high temperatures.
  • Headache,Muscle aches and body pains. 
  • Weakness,dizziness (sensation of spinning) and lethargy (laziness). 
  • Loss of apetite (loss of hunger) and dehydration.                                                              


      Fever can be diagnosed physically by examining the body temperature.Thermometers can be used to observe the temperature rise level by keeping it orally or under the arm pits. Wheather the fever is caused due to infections or organ damage has to diagnosed by the physician by tests like X-ray or imaging techniques etc.,                                                                                    


 It can be treated by giving medications like NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol etc., based on the type of infection Antibiotics can also be given. 

Natural remedies

  • Wipe off the body with a  cloth dipped in cool(do not use cold water) water on forehead and neck to reduce the temperature. 
  • Take a bath with only warm or lukewarm water, or just clean the body with a cloth dipped in lukewarm water to get relaxation from aches.
  • Basil leaves effectively reduces temperature.Boil 20 leaves along with ginger and drink it to get rid of infections.
  • Garlic and cinnamon acts as best antibacterial herbs fights off infection and protects from different infectious agents.
  • Honey, a highly nutritious and mineral rich component which has anti-oxidant, antimicrobial properties. Acts as an excellent home remedy for fever.         



    Our immune system can fight against pathogens and protect us by providing resistance. By our unhealthy habits we are weakening our Immune system we ourselves spoiling our health. Always maintain hygienic conditions and take healthy diet to prevent infections. Healthy life gives you happy life.


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