|Other names||Pyrexia, febrile response|
|An analog medical thermometer showing a temperature of °C or 38.7 °F101.7|
|Specialty||Infectious disease, pediatrics|
|Symptoms||Initially: shivering, feeling cold |
Later: flushed, sweating
|Causes||Increase in the body's temperature set point|
|Diagnostic method||Temperature > between 37.5 and 38.3 °C (99.5 and 100.9 °F)|
|Treatment||Based on underlying cause, not required for fever itself|
|Medication||Ibuprofen, paracetamol (acetaminophen)|
Fever, also known as pyrexia and febrile response, 37.5 and 38.3 °C (99.5 and 100.9 °F). The increase in set point triggers increased muscle contractions and causes a feeling of cold. This results in greater heat production and efforts to conserve heat. When the set point temperature returns to normal, a person feels hot, becomes flushed, and may begin to sweat. Rarely a fever may trigger a febrile seizure. This is more common in young children. Fevers do not typically go higher than 41 to 42 °C (105.8 to 107.6 °F).is defined as having a temperature above the normal range due to an increase in the body's temperature set point. There is not a single agreed-upon upper limit for normal temperature with sources using values between
Normal human body temperature, also known as normothermia or euthermia, is the typical temperature range found in humans. The normal human body temperature range is typically stated as 36.5–37.5 °C (97.7–99.5 °F).
In physiology, medicine, and anatomy, muscle tone is the continuous and passive partial contraction of the muscles, or the muscle's resistance to passive stretch during resting state. It helps to maintain posture and declines during REM sleep.
Cold is the presence of low temperature, especially in the atmosphere. In common usage, cold is often a subjective perception. A lower bound to temperature is absolute zero, defined as 0.00 K on the Kelvin scale, an absolute thermodynamic temperature scale. This corresponds to −273.15 °C on the Celsius scale, −459.67 °F on the Fahrenheit scale, and 0.00 °R on the Rankine scale.
A fever can be caused by many medical conditions ranging from non serious to life-threatening.This includes viral, bacterial and parasitic infections such as the common cold, urinary tract infections, meningitis, malaria and appendicitis among others. Non-infectious causes include vasculitis, deep vein thrombosis, side effects of medication, and cancer among others. It differs from hyperthermia, in that hyperthermia is an increase in body temperature over the temperature set point, due to either too much heat production or not enough heat loss.
The common cold, also known simply as a cold, is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the nose. The throat, sinuses, and larynx may also be affected. Signs and symptoms may appear less than two days after exposure to the virus. These may include coughing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, headache, and fever. People usually recover in seven to ten days, but some symptoms may last up to three weeks. Occasionally those with other health problems may develop pneumonia.
Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, and neck stiffness. Other symptoms include confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting, and an inability to tolerate light or loud noises. Young children often exhibit only nonspecific symptoms, such as irritability, drowsiness, or poor feeding. If a rash is present, it may indicate a particular cause of meningitis; for instance, meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria may be accompanied by a characteristic rash.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. Symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. In those who have recently survived an infection, reinfection usually causes milder symptoms. This partial resistance disappears over months to years if the person has no continuing exposure to malaria.
Treatment to reduce fever is generally not required.Treatment of associated pain and inflammation, however, may be useful and help a person rest. Medications such as ibuprofen or paracetamol (acetaminophen) may help with this as well as lower temperature. Measures such as putting a cool damp cloth on the forehead and having a slightly warm bath are not useful and may simply make a person more uncomfortable. Children younger than three months require medical attention, as might people with serious medical problems such as a compromised immune system or people with other symptoms. Hyperthermia does require treatment.
Ibuprofen is a medication in the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) class that is used for treating pain, fever, and inflammation. This includes painful menstrual periods, migraines, and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also be used to close a patent ductus arteriosus in a premature baby. It can be used by mouth or intravenously. It typically begins working within an hour.
Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen and APAP, is a medication used to treat pain and fever. It is typically used for mild to moderate pain relief. There is mixed evidence for its use to relieve fever in children. It is often sold in combination with other medications, such as in many cold medications. Paracetamol is also used for severe pain, such as cancer pain and pain after surgery, in combination with opioid pain medication. It is typically used either by mouth or rectally, but is also available by injection into a vein. Effects last between 2 to 4 hours.
Hyperthermia is a condition where an individual's body temperature is elevated beyond normal due to failed thermoregulation. The person's body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates. When extreme temperature elevation occurs, it becomes a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment to prevent disability or death.
Fever is one of the most common medical signs.It is part of about 30% of healthcare visits by children and occurs in up to 75% of adults who are seriously sick. While fever is a useful defense mechanism, treating fever does not appear to worsen outcomes. Fever is viewed with greater concern by parents and healthcare professionals than it usually deserves, a phenomenon known as fever phobia.
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A fever is usually accompanied by sickness behavior, which consists of lethargy, depression, anorexia, sleepiness, hyperalgesia, and the inability to concentrate.
Sickness behavior is a coordinated set of adaptive behavioral changes that develop in ill individuals during the course of an infection. They usually accompany fever and aid survival. Such illness responses include lethargy, depression, anxiety, malaise, loss of appetite, sleepiness, hyperalgesia, reduction in grooming and failure to concentrate. Sickness behavior is a motivational state that reorganizes the organism's priorities to cope with infectious pathogens. It has been suggested as relevant to understanding depression, and some aspects of the suffering that occurs in cancer.
Lethargy is a state of tiredness, weariness, fatigue, or lack of energy. It can be accompanied by depression, decreased motivation, or apathy. Lethargy can be a normal response to inadequate sleep, overexertion, overworking, stress, lack of exercise, improper nutrition, boredom, or a symptom of an illness or a disorder. It may also be a side-effect of medication or caused by an interaction between medications or medication(s) and alcohol. When part of a normal response, lethargy often resolves with rest, adequate sleep, decreased stress, physical exercise and good nutrition. Lethargy's symptoms can last days or even months.
Depression, a state of low mood and aversion to activity, can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, tendencies, feelings, and sense of well-being. Symptoms of the mood disorder is marked by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration and a significant increase/decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping. A great deal of people also have feelings of dejection, hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies. It can either be short term or long term depending on the severity of the person's condition. A depressed mood is a normal temporary reaction to life events, such as the loss of a loved one. It is also a symptom of some physical diseases and a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments. Depressed mood may also be a symptom of some mood disorders such as major depressive disorder or dysthymia.
|Note: The difference between fever and hyperthermia is the underlying mechanism. Different sources have different cut-offs for fever, hyperthermia and hyperpyrexia.|
A wide range for normal temperatures has been found.Central temperatures, such as rectal temperatures, are more accurate than peripheral temperatures. Fever is generally agreed to be present if the elevated temperature is caused by a raised set point and:
In healthy adults, the range of normal, healthy temperatures for oral temperature is 33.2–38.2 °C (91.8–100.8 °F), for rectal it is 34.4–37.8 °C (93.9–100.0 °F), for tympanic membrane (the ear drum) it is 35.4–37.8 °C (95.7–100.0 °F), and for axillary (the armpit) it is 35.5–37.0 °C (95.9–98.6 °F). Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine defines a fever as a morning oral temperature of >37.2 °C (>98.9 °F) or an afternoon oral temperature of >37.7 °C (>99.9 °F) while the normal daily temperature variation is typically 0.5 °C (0.9 °F).
Normal body temperatures vary depending on many factors, including age, sex, time of day, ambient temperature, activity level, and more. A raised temperature is not always a fever. For example, the temperature of a healthy person rises when he or she exercises, but this is not considered a fever, as the set point is normal. On the other hand, a "normal" temperature may be a fever, if it is unusually high for that person. For example, medically frail elderly people have a decreased ability to generate body heat, so a "normal" temperature of 37.3 °C (99.1 °F) may represent a clinically significant fever.
The pattern of temperature changes may occasionally hint at the diagnosis:
A neutropenic fever, also called febrile neutropenia, is a fever in the absence of normal immune system function. Because of the lack of infection-fighting neutrophils, a bacterial infection can spread rapidly; this fever is, therefore, usually considered to require urgent medical attention. This kind of fever is more commonly seen in people receiving immune-suppressing chemotherapy than in apparently healthy people.
Febricula is an old term for a low-grade fever, especially if the cause is unknown, no other symptoms are present, and the patient recovers fully in less than a week.
Hyperpyrexia is an extreme elevation of body temperature which, depending upon the source, is classified as a core body temperature greater than or equal to 40.0 or 41.5 °C (104.0 or 106.7 °F). Such a high temperature is considered a medical emergency, as it may indicate a serious underlying condition or lead to problems including permanent brain damage, or death. The most common cause of hyperpyrexia is an intracranial hemorrhage. Other possible causes include sepsis, Kawasaki syndrome, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, drug overdose, serotonin syndrome, and thyroid storm.
Infections are the most common cause of fevers, but as the temperature rises other causes become more common. 38.9 °C (102.0 °F) has been found to improve survival. Hyperpyrexia differs from hyperthermia in that in hyperpyrexia the body's temperature regulation mechanism sets the body temperature above the normal temperature, then generates heat to achieve this temperature, while in hyperthermia the body temperature rises above its set point due to an outside source.Infections commonly associated with hyperpyrexia include roseola, measles and enteroviral infections. Immediate aggressive cooling to less than
Hyperthermia is an example of a high temperature that is not a fever. It occurs from a number of causes including heatstroke, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, malignant hyperthermia, stimulants such as substituted amphetamines and cocaine, idiosyncratic drug reactions, and serotonin syndrome.
Fever is a common symptom of many medical conditions:
Persistent fever that cannot be explained after repeated routine clinical inquiries is called fever of unknown origin.
Teething is not a cause.
Temperature is ultimately regulated in the hypothalamus. A trigger of the fever, called a pyrogen, causes release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). PGE2 in turn acts on the hypothalamus, which creates a systemic response in the body, causing heat-generating effects to match a new higher temperature set point.
In many respects, the hypothalamus works like a thermostat.When the set point is raised, the body increases its temperature through both active generation of heat and retention of heat. Peripheral vasoconstriction both reduces heat loss through the skin and causes the person to feel cold. Norepinephrine increases thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue, and muscle contraction through shivering raises the metabolic rate. If these measures are insufficient to make the blood temperature in the brain match the new set point in the hypothalamus, then shivering begins in order to use muscle movements to produce more heat. When the hypothalamic set point moves back to baseline either spontaneously or with medication, the reverse of these processes (vasodilation, end of shivering and nonshivering heat production) and sweating are used to cool the body to the new, lower setting.
This contrasts with hyperthermia, in which the normal setting remains, and the body overheats through undesirable retention of excess heat or over-production of heat.Hyperthermia is usually the result of an excessively hot environment (heat stroke) or an adverse reaction to drugs. Fever can be differentiated from hyperthermia by the circumstances surrounding it and its response to anti-pyretic medications.
A pyrogen is a substance that induces fever. These can be either internal (endogenous) or external (exogenous) to the body. The bacterial substance lipopolysaccharide (LPS), present in the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria,is an example of an exogenous pyrogen. Pyrogenicity can vary: In extreme examples, some bacterial pyrogens known as superantigens can cause rapid and dangerous fevers. Depyrogenation may be achieved through filtration, distillation, chromatography, or inactivation.
In essence, all endogenous pyrogens are cytokines, molecules that are a part of the immune system. They are produced by activated immune cells and cause the increase in the thermoregulatory set point in the hypothalamus. Major endogenous pyrogens are interleukin 1 (α and β)and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Minor endogenous pyrogens include interleukin-8, tumor necrosis factor-β, macrophage inflammatory protein-α and macrophage inflammatory protein-β as well as interferon-α, interferon-β, and interferon-γ. Tumor necrosis factor-α also acts as a pyrogen. It is mediated by interleukin 1 (IL-1) release.
These cytokine factors are released into general circulation, where they migrate to the circumventricular organs of the brain due to easier absorption caused by the blood–brain barrier's reduced filtration action there. The cytokine factors then bind with endothelial receptors on vessel walls, or interact with local microglial cells. When these cytokine factors bind, the arachidonic acid pathway is then activated.
One model for the mechanism of fever caused by exogenous pyrogens includes LPS, which is a cell wall component of gram-negative bacteria. An immunological protein called lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) binds to LPS. The LBP–LPS complex then binds to the CD14 receptor of a nearby macrophage. This binding results in the synthesis and release of various endogenous cytokine factors, such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and the tumor necrosis factor-alpha. In other words, exogenous factors cause release of endogenous factors, which, in turn, activate the arachidonic acid pathway.The highly toxic metabolism-boosting supplement 2,4-dinitrophenol induces high body temperature via the inhibition of ATP production by mitochondria, resulting in impairment of cellular respiration. Instead of producing ATP, the energy of the proton gradient is lost as heat.
PGE2 release comes from the arachidonic acid pathway. This pathway (as it relates to fever), is mediated by the enzymes phospholipase A2 (PLA2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and prostaglandin E2 synthase. These enzymes ultimately mediate the synthesis and release of PGE2.
PGE2 is the ultimate mediator of the febrile response. The set point temperature of the body will remain elevated until PGE2 is no longer present. PGE2 acts on neurons in the preoptic area (POA) through the prostaglandin E receptor 3 (EP3). EP3-expressing neurons in the POA innervate the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), the rostral raphe pallidus nucleus in the medulla oblongata (rRPa), and the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus . Fever signals sent to the DMH and rRPa lead to stimulation of the sympathetic output system, which evokes non-shivering thermogenesis to produce body heat and skin vasoconstriction to decrease heat loss from the body surface. It is presumed that the innervation from the POA to the PVN mediates the neuroendocrine effects of fever through the pathway involving pituitary gland and various endocrine organs.
The brain ultimately orchestrates heat effector mechanisms via the autonomic nervous system or primary motor center for shivering. These may be:
In infants, the autonomic nervous system may also activate brown adipose tissue to produce heat (non-exercise-associated thermogenesis, also known as non-shivering thermogenesis). Increased heart rate and vasoconstriction contribute to increased blood pressure in fever.
There are arguments for and against the usefulness of fever, and the issue is controversial.There are studies using warm-blooded vertebrates with some suggesting that they recover more rapidly from infections or critical illness due to fever. Studies suggest reduced mortality in bacterial infections when fever was present.
In theory, fever can aid in host defense.There are certainly some important immunological reactions that are sped up by temperature, and some pathogens with strict temperature preferences could be hindered.
Researchhas demonstrated that fever assists the healing process in several important ways:
Fever should not necessarily be treated. °C (107.6 °F), and it is rare for an untreated fever to exceed 40.6 °C (105 °F). Treating fever in people with sepsis does not affect outcomes.Most people recover without specific medical attention. Although it is unpleasant, fever rarely rises to a dangerous level even if untreated. Damage to the brain generally does not occur until temperatures reach 42
Some limited evidence supports sponging or bathing feverish children with tepid water.The use of a fan or air conditioning may somewhat reduce the temperature and increase comfort. If the temperature reaches the extremely high level of hyperpyrexia, aggressive cooling is required (generally produced mechanically via conduction by applying numerous ice packs across most of the body or direct submersion in ice water). In general, people are advised to keep adequately hydrated. Whether increased fluid intake improves symptoms or shortens respiratory illnesses such as the common cold is not known.
Medications that lower fevers are called antipyretics . The antipyretic ibuprofen is effective in reducing fevers in children.It is more effective than acetaminophen (paracetamol) in children. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen may be safely used together in children with fevers. The efficacy of acetaminophen by itself in children with fevers has been questioned. Ibuprofen is also superior to aspirin in children with fevers. Additionally, aspirin is not recommended in children and young adults (those under the age of 16 or 19 depending on the country) due to the risk of Reye's syndrome.
Using both paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time or alternating between the two is more effective at decreasing fever than using only paracetamol or ibuprofen.It is not clear if it increases child comfort. Response or nonresponse to medications does not predict whether or not a child has a serious illness.
About 5% of people who go to an emergency room have a fever.
A number of types of fever were known as early as 460 BC to 370 BC when Hippocrates was practicing medicine including that due to malaria (tertian or every 2 days and quartan or every 3 days).It also became clear around this time that fever was a symptom of disease rather than a disease in and of itself.
Pyrexia is from the Greek pyr meaning fire. Febrile is from the Latin word febris , meaning fever, and archaically known as ague.
Fever phobia is the name given by medical experts to parents' misconceptions about fever in their children. Among them, many parents incorrectly believe that fever is a disease rather than a medical sign, that even low fevers are harmful, and that any temperature even briefly or slightly above the oversimplified "normal" number marked on a thermometer is a clinically significant fever.They are also afraid of harmless side effects like febrile seizures and dramatically overestimate the likelihood of permanent damage from typical fevers. The underlying problem, according to professor of pediatrics Barton D. Schmitt, is "as parents we tend to suspect that our children’s brains may melt."
As a result of these misconceptions parents are anxious, give the child fever-reducing medicine when the temperature is technically normal or only slightly elevated, and interfere with the child's sleep to give the child more medicine.
Fever is an important feature for the diagnosis of disease in domestic animals. The body temperature of animals, which is taken rectally, is different from one species to another. For example, a horse is said to have a fever above °F ( 101 °C). 38.3 In species that allow the body to have a wide range of "normal" temperatures, such as camels, it is sometimes difficult to determine a febrile stage.
Fever can also be behaviorally induced by invertebrates that do not have immune-system based fever. For instance, some species of grasshopper will thermoregulate to achieve body temperatures that are 2–5 °C higher than normal in order to inhibit the growth of fungal pathogens such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium acridum . Honeybee colonies are also able to induce a fever in response to a fungal parasite Ascosphaera apis.
Antipyretics are substances that reduce fever. Antipyretics cause the hypothalamus to override a prostaglandin-induced increase in temperature. The body then works to lower the temperature, which results in a reduction in fever.
Streptococcal pharyngitis, also known as strep throat, is an infection of the back of the throat including the tonsils caused by group A streptococcus (GAS). Common symptoms include fever, sore throat, red tonsils, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. A headache, and nausea or vomiting may also occur. Some develop a sandpaper-like rash which is known as scarlet fever. Symptoms typically begin one to three days after exposure and last seven to ten days.
Infectious mononucleosis, also known as glandular fever, is an infection usually caused by the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). Most people are infected by the virus as children, when the disease produces few or no symptoms. In young adults, the disease often results in fever, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, and tiredness. Most people recover in two to four weeks; however, feeling tired may last for months. The liver or spleen may also become swollen, and in less than one percent of cases splenic rupture may occur.
Hypothermia is reduced body temperature that happens when a body dissipates more heat than it absorbs. In humans, it is defined as a body core temperature below 35.0 °C (95.0 °F). Symptoms depend on the temperature. In mild hypothermia there is shivering and mental confusion. In moderate hypothermia shivering stops and confusion increases. In severe hypothermia, there may be paradoxical undressing, in which a person removes their clothing, as well as an increased risk of the heart stopping.
A febrile seizure, also known as a fever fit or febrile convulsion, is a seizure associated with a high body temperature but without any serious underlying health issue. They most commonly occur in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Most seizures are less than five minutes in duration and the child is completely back to normal within an hour of the event.
Pharyngitis is inflammation of the back of the throat, known as the pharynx. It typically results in a sore throat and fever. Other symptoms may include a runny nose, cough, headache, and a hoarse voice. Symptoms usually last 3–5 days. Complications can include sinusitis and acute otitis media. Pharyngitis is a type of upper respiratory tract infection.
Roseola is an infectious disease caused by certain types of virus. Most infections occur before the age of three. Symptoms vary from absent to the classic presentation of a fever of rapid onset followed by a rash. The fever generally lasts for three to five days. The rash is generally pink and lasts for less than three days. Complications may include febrile seizures, with serious complications being rare.
Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, typically of rapid onset. It is a type of pharyngitis. Symptoms may include sore throat, fever, enlargement of the tonsils, trouble swallowing, and large lymph nodes around the neck. Complications include peritonsillar abscess.
Drug-induced fever is a symptom of an adverse drug reaction wherein the administration of drugs intended to help a patient causes a hypermetabolic state resulting in fever. The drug may interfere with heat dissipation peripherally, increase the rate of metabolism, evoke a cellular or humoral immune response, mimic endogenous pyrogen, or damage tissues.
Chemokine ligand 3 (CCL3) also known as macrophage inflammatory protein 1-alpha (MIP-1-alpha) is a protein that in humans is encoded by the CCL3 gene.
Hyperthermia therapy is a type of medical treatment in which body tissue is exposed to higher temperatures in an effort to treat cancer.
Deployment cost–benefit selection in physiology concerns the costs and benefits of physiological process that can be deployed and selected in regard to whether they will increase or not an animal’s survival and biological fitness. Variably deployable physiological processes relate mostly to processes that defend or clear infections as these are optional while also having high costs and circumstance linked benefits. They include immune system responses, fever, antioxidants and the plasma level of iron. Notable determining factors are life history stage, and resource availability.
Heat stroke, also known as sun stroke, is a type of severe heat illness that results in a body temperature greater than 40.0 °C (104.0 °F) and confusion. Other symptoms include red, dry or damp skin, headache, and dizziness. Onset can be sudden or gradual. Complications may include seizures, rhabdomyolysis, or kidney failure.
Continuous fever is a type or pattern of fever in which temperature does not touch the baseline and remains above normal throughout the day. The variation between maximum and minimum temperature in 24 hours is less than 1°C (1.5°F). It usually occurs due to some infectious disease. Diagnosis of continuous fever is usually based on the clinical signs and symptoms but some biological tests, chest X-ray and CT scan are also used. Typhoid fever is an example of continuous fever and it shows a characteristic step-ladder pattern, a step-wise increase in temperature with a high plateau.
Intermittent fever is a type or pattern of fever in which there is an interval where temperature is elevated for several hours followed by an interval when temperature drops back to normal. This type of fever usually occurs during the course of an infectious disease. Diagnosis of intermittent fever is frequently based on the clinical history but some biological tests like complete blood count and blood culture are also used. In addition radiological investigations like chest X-ray, abdominal ultrasonography can also be used in establishing diagnosis.
Remittent Fever is a type or pattern of fever in which temperature does not touch the baseline and remains above normal throughout the day. Daily variation in temperature is more than 1°C in 24 hours, which is also the main difference as compared to continuous fever. Fever due to most infectious diseases is remittent. Diagnosis is based upon clinical history, blood tests, blood culture and chest X-ray.
Dantrolene may also be associated with improved survival and reduced complications, especially in patients with extreme (≥ 42 °C) or severe (≥ 40 °C) hyperpyrexia
Despite the myriad of complications associated with heat illness, an elevation of core temperature above 41.0 °C (often referred to as fever or hyperpyrexia) is the most widely recognized symptom of this syndrome.
Dantrolene may also be associated with improved survival and reduced complications, especially in patients with extreme (≥ 42°C) or severe (≥ 40°C) hyperpyrexia
Despite the myriad of complications associated with heat illness, an elevation of core temperature above 41.0°C (often referred to as fever or hyperpyrexia) is the most widely recognized symptom of this syndrome.
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