How Is a Fever Diagnosed?

If you have ever gotten sick from a viral or bacterial infection before, chances are that you have experienced a fever. While fevers can be unpleasant and make you feel really sick, they are actually a good thing!

Our bodies are incredibly complex and are really good at taking care of us when we are ill. Fevers are just one of the ways that our bodies fight off illness. Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team explains how fevers help us overcome illness.

What Temperature Means a Fever?

The typical body temperature for adults is 98.6 degrees. All of our body temperatures fluctuate a little throughout the day, so there is no immediate need for panic if your temperature is a little outside of this range. An official fever diagnosis occurs when your body reaches 100.4 degrees or higher.

When your body spikes a fever, it means that it has recognized something as a threat and raises your temperature to create a more hostile environment for the invader to grow. The increase in body temperature also encourages your white blood cells to work more effectively to fight off the infection. Some fevers can go unnoticed, but others can make you feel miserable.

What a Fever Could Feel Like

  • Elevated body temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Chills, shivering or shaking
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating or flushed skin

When Should I See a Medical Provider for a Fever?

The vast majority of fevers can be treated at home and will eventually go away without medical intervention. Rest, drink a lot of water, and if needed, take some OTC fever-reducing medication to help you feel better.

If your fever is persistent or keeps climbing to reach 103 degrees or higher, a visit with your care team is a good idea. While truly dangerous fevers are rare, an extremely high body temperature can start to cause organ damage or even brain damage. Just keep an eye on your temperature, rest as needed and let your body work hard for you!

Serious Signs to Watch For

  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • High fever with a rash
  • Seizures
  • Dehydration

Do you have a fever that just won’t break? Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN.