Fever is an increase in body temperature above what is considered normal – above 38C. Despite causing discomfort in most cases, fever is a natural defense mechanism of the immune system, activated to fight inflammation and infections.
What you SHOULD DO in case of fever:
- Increase your fluid intake – drink more water!
- Take a bath in warm (not hot) water or apply a damp towel to the forehead;
- Wear light clothing even if you feel some chills associated with the fever;
- Only take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable, otherwise let the fever fight your infection.
What you SHOULD NOT TO DO in case of fever:
- Wear even more clothes in the face of the cold you feel;
- Resort to taking an antipyretic (such as paracetamol) at a fixed time, as this should only be taken in case of fever.
- Eating heavy meals/difficult to digest;
- Avoid taking any antibiotics that you may have at home, unless you have had medical advice to do so.
Fever should only be fought in order to reduce the discomfort it causes. Excessive use of fever-fighting medication can be harmful, both because of the toxicity it can cause and the risk of prolonging the disease/true cause of fever.
Think of a fever as an alarm that your body sounds. In most cases a fever will resolve by itself within 5 days.
If your fever lasts longer than this, or if you feel unwell and are worried, please contact your doctor.