There is talk of fever when body temperature in the morning than 37.5 ° C and when the evening than 37.8 ° C. It demonstrates very usually activation of the inflammatory immune response.
Fever installed for less than five days is called acute fever. The term is used when persistent fever greater than 38.3 ° C fever lasts more than 20 days.
Three types of thermometers measure body temperature:
Thermometers "classic" rectal or oral.
Please note there is a difference of 0.6 ° C between the rectal and oral temperature;
Electronic ear thermometers
They are much developed in recent years because they are reliable and easy to use;
The temporal thermometers
GPs prefer the most often, but more or less effective (the price makes a difference).
There are several types of fevers
They are usually caused by viral or bacterial infections, symptoms develop abruptly and quickly disappear. It can also be a heat stroke the climate (heat wave) or intense physical effort. Or be a brief inflammatory flare without infection. As teething in infants.
It is related in 40% of cases of infection, 20% of cancers, 20% to inflammatory diseases. The medical examination and clinical examination allow for an accurate diagnosis.
About certain chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis or lupus.
Seasonal infectious fevers
During viral infections (virus infections)
This type of fever lasts 3 to 5 days and usually goes alone. As in the following pathologies:
- Hay. Fever is moderate (38 or 38.5 ° C) and permanent.
- Influenza. The disease is sudden, very high (up to 40 ° C) and follows a curve V: 39-40 ° C, then 37 ° C, then 39-40 ° C.
- Bronchiolitis or bronchitis, for which there is not necessarily any symptoms of fever. But it may be noted moderate temperatures (38 or 38.5 ° C), the curve is variable and oscillating.
- Gastroenteritis, which may not cause fever. Sometimes fever can still climb to 40 ° C, temporarily.
- Viral tonsillitis and pharyngitis, for which there is not necessarily a fever. But it may be noted moderate temperatures (38 or 38.5 ° C), the curve is variable and oscillating.
- Childhood diseases (measles, chicken pox, etc.), where the temperature can reach 40 ° C and sometimes never get: illness without fever.
When bacterial infections
Unlike viral fevers, bacterial fevers always require a doctor's consultation because we must fight against the infection with antibiotics.
- In case of bacterial sore throat, fever reached 39 to 40 ° C in permanent plateau.
- In case of bacterial otitis Also, the fever can reach 39 ° C in permanent plateau.
The material and physical means cooling
They are used to reduce discomfort and headache that accompanies high fever (above 38.5 ° C). They are essential during a heat stroke.
It is best to keep the body temperature below 38 ° C in people who do not tolerate the acceleration of the heart (cardiac patients).
Beyond 38 ° C, the brain begins to suffer, especially the developing brain of children; therefore convulsions can occur even with low fevers in terms of brain sensitivity of the person.
In case of fever, the body fight against heat by sweating and dehydrated. It is essential to drink water regularly to rehydrate and allow temperature regulation (perspiration) to continue.
To put in the shade in a cool (but not air conditioned) and discover.
Feel free to leave a baby in childbirth.
Bath and shower
Accepted if they improve the well-being and comfort but ATTENTION: The water temperature should never be less than 2 ° C above the body, otherwise there is a risk of seizures in children (thermal shock) . Thus, in case of fever over 39 ° C, the water temperature should not be below 37 ° C.
The ice pack or wet glove costs on the head
They provide a relief because the brain is the organ most sensitive to fever. They depart the risk of febrile seizures. And make everything up to the sleeping child with fever.
Medicated ways to reduce fever
Three types of drugs lower fever: paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen.
Paracetamol is the preferred treatment for children and infants. His against-indications are rare, it can be administered within hours of aspirin.
Aspirin is very effective against fever, but it must be booked in children over 6 years and pay attention to the occurrence of possible allergies. Attention aspirin can not be taken a few hours after ibuprofen (Advil).
Ibuprofen (NSAIDs - non-steroidal anti-inflammatory like Advil) is effective against fever. But it has important against-indications, including chickenpox so it should never give to children who have not yet had the disease. When in doubt, choose paracetamol. Attention ibuprofen can be taken a few hours after paracetamol but especially not after aspirin.
Corticosteroids are powerful drugs strictly by the medical. They do not treat a fever but inflammation in a perfectly identified disease.
When to see the doctor?
Infants less than 1 month, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals should always consult urgently at the onset of a fever because of the complications it can be: pregnant women toxoplasmosis and listeriosis especially very dangerous to the fetus.
Any fever without obvious explanation, such as a cold or flu in an infected family, and that does not disappear in three days, justifies the consultation.
Any fever associated with disorders of consciousness, convulsions or dehydration, requires the urgent doctor's advice.
Any fever associated with headaches and / or vomiting and / or photophobia (denial of light), or small blood stains "lees of wine" on the skin (petechiae) is suspect meningitis: you should consult emergency.
Any fever returned from a tropical country is a priori suspect: it can be a malaria, typhoid, yellow fever or hepatitis A, etc. The quick reference is needed.
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