A fever is a protective mechanism in organism which arises in response to the actions of pathogenic irritants. In most cases a fever is accompanied by an infectious process caused by viruses, bacteria or vermin. Another reason for a fever could be intoxication of organism caused by thyrotoxicosis or intensifying chronic diseases (kidney diseases or pseudorheumatism). One could also develop a fever as a result of a heart attack, tuberculosis, some types of oncologic diseases, HIV infection and many other illnesses.
There are different types of fever, but they all have common symptoms that should be treated carefully, so be sure to alert your doctor if you notice any of them.
Symptoms of a fever
Apart from a rise in temperature, there are other symptoms that can be observed such as:
- Flushed skin
- Trembling and chills
- A dull ache in bones
- Thirst or bad appetite
- Children may have fever accompanied by irritability and prolonged weeping
Types of fever patterns
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According to the nature of temperature fluctuations, there are different types of fever patterns.
This is characterized by high fluctuating temperatures throughout the day that never fall back to normal; usually, the person’s temperature could shoot up to 37°С and higher. The daily fluctuations in temperature are usually more than 1-2°С.
In this case a person suffers from a short term increase in temperature separated by intervals of regular temperature. Intermittent fever is usually observed in patients having malaria, kala-azar, pyemia, septicemia etc.
The temperature remains above normal throughout the day and does not fluctuate more than 1 degree Celsius in 24 hours.
Hyperthermia is a serious uncontrolled rise in body temperature signalling increased muscle metabolism or/and muscle rigidity.
Hyperpyrexia occurs when the body's temperature rises above 41,0 °C. This points to a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment in a hospital.
One should remember that hyperthermia does not respond to aspirin and paracetamol, but hyperpyrexia and fever both respond to paracetamol and aspirin.
What can the patient do?
If you feel that your temperature is really high and you may be running a fever, you should visit your doctor immediately to find out why. If fever occurs in children and is accompanied by cramps, be sure to make sure to clean all objects in his surroundings, make sure the child is breathing freely and visit a doctor. A pregnant woman must make an urgent visit to her doctor if she has a fever. When running high high temperatures, a patient is recommended to observe bed rest, drink more liquids and if necessary, use medicines that reduce fever.
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