Head | General Practice | Fever (Symptom)
Fever refers to an elevation in body temperature. Technically, any temperature above the normal measuring body orally 98. 6 F (37 C) or rectal normal temperature of 99 F (37. 2 C) is considered to be high. However, these are averages, and a normal body temperature may actually be an F (0. 6 C) or above or below the average body temperature of 98. 6 F. It may also vary to a F (0. 6 C) throughout the day.
Fever is only part of a disease, often no more important than the presence of other symptoms such as cough, sore throat, fatigue, joint aches or pains, chills, nausea, etc. Fever of 104 F (40 C) or more must receive attention medically that can result in delirium and convulsions, especially in infants and children.
The presence of a fever is usually related to stimulation of the body's immune response. Fever can support the immune system's attempt to gain advantage over infectious agents, such as viruses and bacteria, and it makes the body less favorable as a host for replicating viruses and bacteria, which are temperature sensitive. Infectious agents are not the only causes of fever, however. Amphetamine abuse and alcohol withdrawal can both elicit high temperatures, for example. And environmental fevers - such as those associated with heat stroke and related illnesses - can also occur.