Fever is not a disease. Fever is one of
the body's most powerful defenses against the invasion of viruses and
bacteria. This is why, when you phone your doctor looking for advice he
is not as interested in how high the temperature is as in any other
symptoms that may be present.
If you turn to aspirin or paracetamol at the first sign of a fever, you
will be depriving the body of one of its best defenses. Fever comes
about because pyrogens, the fever-producing substances, appear in the
blood and affect the temperature control in the brain, calling for more
heat. Pyrogens also stimulate white blood cells to destroy viruses and
How To Manage Fever
The common cold and flu are the most
common sources of elevated body temperatures in a person. Too much
greasy, fried or oily food, sugar or spices can also bring on a fever,
as can a sudden change in weather from cold to hot. Fevers of up to
even 38.5°C (102°F) are not dangerous.
The danger comes from dehydration caused
by accompanying conditions such as:
Just make sure that the person gets
plenty of fluids, around 1/2 cup every hour, and treat the source of
the infection (ear, chest, gastroenteritis and so on) using treatments
that stimulate the immune system.