BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuFeverElevated temperature; Hyperthermia; Pyrexia; FebrileFever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness.A child has a fever when the temperature is at or above one of these levels:100.4°F (38°C) measured in the bottom (rectally) 99.5°F (37.5°C) measured in the mouth (orally) 99°F (37.2°C) measured under the arm (axillary)An adult probably has a fever when the temperature is above 99°F to 99.5°F (37.2°C to 37.5°C), depending on the time of day. Considerations Normal body temperature may change during any given day. It is usually highest in the evening. Other factors that may affect body temperature are:A woman's menstrual cycle. In the second part of this cycle, her temperature may go up by 1 degree or more. Physical activity, strong emotion, eating, heavy clothing, medicines, high room temperature, and high humidity can all increase body temperature.Fever is an important part of the body's defense against infection. Most bacteria and viruses that cause infections in people thrive best at 98.6°F (37°C). Many infants and children develop high fevers with mild viral illnesses. Although a fever signals that a battle might be going on in the body, the fever is fighting for, not against the person.Brain damage from a fever generally will not occur unless the fever is over 107.6°F (42°C). Untreated fevers caused by infection will seldom go over 105°F (40.6°C) unless the child is overdressed or in a hot place.Febrile seizures do occur in some children. Most febrile seizures are over quickly and do not mean your child has epilepsy. These seizures also do not cause any permanent harm.Febrile seizuresA febrile seizure is a convulsion in a child triggered by a fever.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Unexplained fevers that continue for days or weeks are called fevers of undetermined origin (FUO). Causes Almost any infection can cause a fever, including:Bone infections (osteomyelitis), appendicitis, skin infections or cellulitis, and meningitis OsteomyelitisOsteomyelitis is a bone infection. It is mainly caused by bacteria or other germs.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article AppendicitisAppendicitis is a condition in which your appendix gets inflamed. The appendix is a small pouch attached to the large intestine.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article CellulitisCellulitis is a common skin infection caused by bacteria. It affects the middle layer of the skin (dermis) and the tissues below. Sometimes, muscle...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article MeningitisMeningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. This covering is called the meninges.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Respiratory infections such as colds or flu-like illnesses, sore throats, ear infections, sinus infections, mononucleosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis ColdsThe common cold most often causes a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article FluThe flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. It spreads easily. This article discusses influenza types A and B. Another type of the flu ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Ear infectionsOtitis is a term for infection or inflammation of the ear.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Sinus infectionsSinusitis is present when the tissue lining the sinuses become swollen or inflamed. It occurs as the result of an inflammatory reaction or an infect...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article MononucleosisMononucleosis, or mono, is a viral infection that causes fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands, most often in the neck.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article BronchitisAcute bronchitis is swelling and inflamed tissue in the main passages that carry air to the lungs. This swelling narrows the airways, which makes it...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article PneumoniaPneumonia is a breathing (respiratory) condition in which there is an infection of the lung. This article covers community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article TuberculosisPulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs. It may spread to other organs.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Urinary tract infections Urinary tract infectionsA urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection of the urinary tract. The infection can occur at different points in the urinary tract, including...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Viral gastroenteritis and bacterial gastroenteritisViral gastroenteritisViral gastroenteritis is present when a virus causes an infection of the stomach and intestine. The infection can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. It...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Bacterial gastroenteritisBacterial gastroenteritis occurs when there is an infection of your stomach and intestines. This is due to bacteria.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Children may have a low-grade fever for 1 or 2 days after some immunizations.ImmunizationsVaccines are used to boost your immune system and prevent serious, life-threatening diseases.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Teething may cause a slight increase in a child's temperature, but not higher than 100°F (37.8°C).TeethingTeething is the growth of teeth through the gums in the mouth of infants and young children.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Autoimmune or inflammatory disorders may also cause fevers. Some examples are:Arthritis or connective tissue illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus ArthritisArthritis is inflammation or degeneration of one or more joints. A joint is the area where 2 bones meet. There are more than 100 different types of...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is a long-term disease. It can also aff...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Systemic lupus erythematosusSystemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease. In this disease, the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It c...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease Ulcerative colitisUlcerative colitis is a condition in which the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum become inflamed. It is a form of inflammatory bowel ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Crohn diseaseCrohn disease is a disease where parts of the digestive tract become inflamed. It most often involves the lower end of the small intestine and the be...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Vasculitis or periarteritis nodosaVasculitisHypersensitivity vasculitis is an extreme reaction to a drug, infection, or foreign substance. It leads to inflammation and damage to blood vessels,...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Periarteritis nodosaPolyarteritis nodosa is a serious blood vessel disease. The small and medium-sized arteries become swollen and damaged.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article The first symptom of a cancer may be a fever. This is particularly true of Hodgkin disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and leukemia.Hodgkin diseaseHodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of lymph tissue. Lymph tissue is found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, and other sites.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Non-Hodgkin lymphomaNon-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is cancer of the lymph tissue. Lymph tissue is found in the lymph nodes, spleen, and other organs of the immune system. W...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article LeukemiaLeukemia is a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft tissue in the center of the bones, where blood cells are ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Other possible causes of fever include:Blood clots or thrombophlebitis Blood clotsBlood clots are clumps that occur when blood hardens from a liquid to a solid. A blood clot that forms inside one of your veins or arteries is calle...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article ThrombophlebitisThrombophlebitis is swelling (inflammation) of a vein. A blood clot (thrombus) in the vein can cause this swelling.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Medicines, such as some antibiotics, antihistamines, and seizure medicines Home Care A simple cold or other viral infection can sometimes cause a high fever (102°F to 104°F or 38.9°C to 40°C). This does not mean you or your child has a serious problem. Some serious infections don't cause a fever or can cause a very low body temperature, most often in infants.If the fever is mild and you have no other problems, you do not need treatment. Drink fluids and rest.The illness is probably not serious if your child:Is still interested in playing Is eating and drinking well Is alert and smiling at you Has a normal skin color Looks well when their temperature comes downTake steps to lower a fever if you or your child is uncomfortable, vomiting, dried out (dehydrated), or not sleeping well. Remember, the goal is to lower, not eliminate, the fever.When trying to lower a fever:DO NOT bundle up someone who has the chills. Remove excess clothing or blankets. The room should be comfortable, not too hot or cool. Try one layer of lightweight clothing, and one lightweight blanket for sleep. If the room is hot or stuffy, a fan may help. A lukewarm bath or sponge bath may help cool someone with a fever. This is effective after medicine is given -- otherwise the temperature might bounce right back up. DO NOT use cold baths, ice, or alcohol rubs. These cool the skin, but often make the situation worse by causing shivering, which raises the core body temperature.Here are some guidelines for taking medicine to lower a fever:Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) help reduce fever in children and adults. Sometimes health care providers advise you to use both types of medicine. Take acetaminophen every 4 to 6 hours. It works by turning down the brain's thermostat. Take ibuprofen every 6 to 8 hours. DO NOT use ibuprofen in children 6 months or younger. Aspirin is very effective for treating fever in adults. DO NOT give aspirin to a child unless your child's provider tells you to. Know how much you or your child weighs. Then check the instructions on the package to find the correct dose. In children 3 months or younger, call your child's provider first before giving medicines.Eating and drinking:Everyone, particularly children, should drink plenty of fluids. Water, ice pops, soup, and gelatin are all good choices. In younger children do not give too much fruit juice or apple juice, and do not give sports drinks. Although eating is fine, do not force foods. When to Contact a Medical Professional Call a provider right away if your child:Is 3 months or younger and has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher Is 3 to 12 months old and has a fever of 102.2°F (39°C) or higher Is 2 years or younger and has a fever that lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours Is older and has a fever for longer than 48 to 72 hours Has a fever of 105°F (40.5°C) or higher, unless it comes down readily with treatment and the person is comfortable Has other symptoms that suggest an illness may need to be treated, such as a sore throat, earache, or cough Has had fevers come and go for up to a week or more, even if these fevers are not very high Has a serious medical illness, such as a heart problem, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, or cystic fibrosis Recently had an immunization Has a new rash or bruises Has pain with urination Has a weakened immune system (because of long-term [chronic] steroid therapy, a bone marrow or organ transplant, spleen removal, HIV/AIDS, or cancer treatment) Has recently traveled to another countryCall your provider right away if you are an adult and you:Have a fever of 105°F (40.5°C) or higher, unless it comes down readily with treatment and you are comfortable Have a fever that stays at or keeps rising above 103°F (39.4°C) Have a fever for longer than 48 to 72 hours Have had fevers come and go for up to a week or more, even if they are not very high Have a serious medical illness, such as a heart problem, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, COPD, or other long-term (chronic) lung problems Have a new rash or bruises Have pain with urination Have a weakened immune system (from chronic steroid therapy, a bone marrow or organ transplant, spleen removal, HIV/AIDS, or cancer treatment) Have recently traveled to another countryCall 911 or the local emergency number if you or your child has a fever and:Is crying and cannot be calmed (children) Cannot be awakened easily or at all Seems confused Cannot walk Has difficulty breathing, even after the nose is cleared Has blue lips, tongue, or nails Has a very bad headache Has a stiff neck Refuses to move an arm or leg (children) Has a seizure What to Expect at Your Office Visit Your provider will perform a physical exam. This may include a detailed examination of the skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, neck, chest, and abdomen to look for the cause of the fever.Treatment depends on the duration and cause of the fever, as well as other symptoms.The following tests may be performed:Blood tests, such as a CBC or blood differential CBCA complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Blood differentialThe blood differential test measures the percentage of each type of white blood cell (WBC) that you have in your blood. It also reveals if there are...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Urinalysis UrinalysisUrinalysis is the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds th...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article X-ray of the chestX-ray of the chestA chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Open ReferencesReferencesLeggett JE. Approach to fever or suspected infection in the normal host. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 264.Nield LS, Kamat D. Fever. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 201.AllVideoImagesTogThermometer temperature - illustration Fever is an important part of the body's defense against infection. Most bacteria and viruses that cause infections in humans thrive best at 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C). Raising the body temperature a few degrees can help the body fight the infection. In addition, a fever activates the body's immune system to make more white blood cells, antibodies, and other infection-fighting agents.Thermometer temperatureillustrationTemperature measurement - illustration A thermometer is a useful aid used to measure body temperature.Temperature measurementillustrationThermometer temperature - illustration Fever is an important part of the body's defense against infection. Most bacteria and viruses that cause infections in humans thrive best at 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C). Raising the body temperature a few degrees can help the body fight the infection. In addition, a fever activates the body's immune system to make more white blood cells, antibodies, and other infection-fighting agents.Thermometer temperatureillustrationTemperature measurement - illustration A thermometer is a useful aid used to measure body temperature.Temperature measurementillustrationSelf Care When your baby or infant has a feverRelated Information Febrile seizures(Condition)Heat emergencies(Injury)Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)(Condition)Flu(Condition)H1N1 influenza (Swine flu)(Condition)Avian influenza(Condition)Febrile seizures - what to ask your doctor(Doctor Questions)Colds and the flu - what to ask your doctor - adult(Doctor Questions)Colds and the flu - what to ask your doctor - child(Doctor Questions)When your baby or infant has a fever(Self-Care) Review Date: 8/29/2020 Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.