When we feel that our body is burning with fever, the first thought is to get rid of it. It is especially difficult to be relaxed about fever when it attacks our kids. We are ready with pills, cold showers, compresses, cold drinks, anything to bring the temperature down. But, fever or increased body temperature is an important part of our body’s defense against infections. When we are attacked by an invader, our body reacts by rising the temperature. Most viruses and bacteria that cause infections thrive at 98.6 °F There is also a theory that our immune system works best at higher than normal body temperature. It does not mean that we can ignore fever when it hits us and keep going on like it is all normal. It is important to distinguish fevers that require urgent trip to the doctor, and others that are better left alone, to do the job of fighting infection, with a little help of rest, hot soup and some vitamin C.
What is normal?
Our normal body temperature changes during the day, throughout the month, and is very much dependent on the activity we do. Normal temperature in adults varies from 97 F (36.1 C) to 99 F (37.2 C). It is lower when we wake up in the morning and higher later in the day. It can be a few degrees higher after an exercise. Body temperature in women changes depending on their menstrual cycle. Some people naturally have higher body temperature than others. But, we know when our increased temperature is due to an infection, because it comes with other symptoms:
- Very sore throat and throat swelling
- Skin rash that is rapidly getting worse
- Severe headache
- Sudden sensitivity to brightness
- Stiff neck
- Prolonged vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest p