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What is fever? Learn about the various types of fever

We all experience fever occasionally, but do you know there are many types of fever which can be a deadly symptom of a disease? Check this article to know more.

Fever is the common symptom that our immune system is fighting off invaders. At this time, the temperature of our body slightly increases which is known as the fever. Fever in children or toddlers may be a sign of disease, but a fever in adults is not very concerning.

What is fever?

A short-term rise of the body temperature while the immune system is fighting off viruses is called fever. Our immune system produces an excessive amount of white blood cells in order to destroy the invaders. This increased white blood cell level provokes the brain to generate more body heat, which causes fever.

In response to this, the body starts to cool it down by compressing the blood flow and muscles, which results in chills and muscle pain.

Typically, the normal temperature of an adult is around 97℉ to 99℉ (which is 37℃). On the other hand, the temperature of children is around 97.9℉ to 100.4℉. Also, do remember that our body temperature usually fluctuates throughout the day, which can differ from person to person for many many factors.The factors include:

  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • How active you have been the whole day
  • What foods you have consumed throughout the day
  • On the time of the day
  • If you are on your period

What are the types of fever?

Undermentioned ranges are the common measurement of body temperatures:

  •  Low-grade or mild fever: 100.4℉ to 102.2℉ (38℃ to 39℃)
  • Moderate-grade fever: 102.2℉ to 104.0℉ (39℃ to 40℃)
  • High-grade fever: 104.2℉ to 106.0℉ (40℃ to 40.1℃)

Remember that these standards are rectal values, and according to the doctors rectal values are more exact.

There are mainly three types of fever:

1. Continuous or sustained fever: A sustained or continuous fever is when a person’s body temperature goes slightly up from the normal temperature which do not shift more than 1.5℉ or 1℃ for a day. This type of fever may cause by:

Typhoid: Typhoid is a bacterial infection which is caused by the salmonella typhi bacteria.

Gram-negative bacteria: These types of bacteria can cause bloodstream infection, pneumonia, and surgical site infection.

Acute bacterial meningitis: This type of bacterial infection can be very serious and requires medical emergency.

Urinary tract infection: There are many types of urinary tract infections, cystitis is a bladder infection and urethritis is an urethra infection.

2. Intermittent fever: When a person experiences high body temperature for several hours a day and the temperature then goes back to normal again, this is called intermittent fever. Here are common cause of this types of fever:

Lymphoma: Lymphoma is one type of cancer that begins from the cells.

Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is an infection of the lungs.

Malaria: Malaria is an infection which transmits through mosquitos.

Sepsis: Sepsis is the extreme reaction of an infection.

3. Remittent fever: Remittent fever is when a person’s body temperature is higher than normal, but can shift more than 3.6℉ or 2℃ for a day. The common causes of the fever may include:

Infective endocarditis: An infection of the endocardium (which is lining on the inside of the heart.

Rickettsiae infection: This type of infection is transmitted through lice, ticks and mites.

What are the complications of fever in adults?

If a person has body temperature of 104℉ (40℃) or higher for a long time, this may result in developing hyperthermia which can be dangerous. This is why it is important to take notice of the fever temperature and prevent it from getting too high. The complications of a high-grade fever may include:

  • Lethargy
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Coma

A high-grade fever may also provoke cognitive dysfunction, which can affect memory power, reasoning, comprehension and problem solving abilities. You can also experience difficulties in concentrating.

These symptoms are usually temporary, and one can definitely get better with time. However, some people may experience extreme circumstances and permanent consequences.

When should you go to the doctors?

If you are having continuous high-grade fever that is continuous for more than 2 weeks then you should immediately go to the doctors. After analyzing your symptoms, your doctor will suggest a fever profile test to understand the inner cause. Fever tests are generally prescribed to detect the underlying disease. Fever profile test price is quite reasonable in some diagnostic centers.

How would you know if the fever is serious?

According to the doctors, a fever which is higher than 104℉ (40℃) requires medical treatment immediately. The symptoms of this state can be severe, a person may experience skin rash, severe headache, seizures, confusion, shortness of breath, frequent vomiting, dehydration, stiff neck, stomach pain, dark urine, pain while urinating and not urinating enough. All these symptoms are considered serious and require medical emergency.