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Causes of fever

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Fever is a condition that, most likely, we have all experienced at some time. It is our body’s response to infections, inflammations, and certain diseases, so it is a common symptom on various occasions that we find ourselves with discomfort.

In many cases, it is possible to treat her at home with the help of over-the-counter antipyretics and some home remedies; however, in the case of very young children, when the fever does not drop or when other more intense symptoms accompany it, it is essential to see a doctor determine its cause and receive appropriate health care. If you wonder what the causes of fever are, in this FastlyHealarticle, we clarify it in detail.

Why do we have a fever when we get sick?

Our body is a machine that works efficiently, so fever is nothing more than a response mechanism to fight the invaders that can affect our health. The average temperature of the human being is 37 ºC, so most bacteria and viruses that cause infections and diseases manage to reproduce and prosper when our body is at this temperature.

When our immune system detects the presence of any bacteria, virus, fungus, or pathogen that it identifies as foreign, it takes out all its artillery to defend our health. Among its measures is to raise the temperature of our body above 37 ºC; in this way, it alters the environment conducive to the development of foreign agents, preventing them from reproducing and increasing in our body.

Fever helps fight these infections, but it is also a symptom that something is wrong, and when we cannot control it, it is essential to seek medical help.

Common infections that cause fever

As it is a common symptom of various infections, in many cases, the causes of fever are not a cause for concern, so it is always recommended to identify if other symptoms accompany the condition or if, after 24 or 48 hours, the fever does not go down, signs that indicate that it could be a more critical condition.

Among the most common and mild causes of fever, we find:

  • Flu and colds. In addition to fever, it is accompanied by general malaise, increased mucus, sneezing, loss of appetite, and weakness.
  • Ear infections such as otitis or other pathologies of this type. Pain in the ear, slight hearing loss, nausea, tiredness, and sometimes suppuration in the affected ear are the main signs of this condition.
  • Throat infections such as tonsillitis or laryngitis. They usually appear due to a cold, flu, or other common infection; they are characterized by redness in the area, intense pain, and difficulty swallowing.
  • Sinusitis, usually caused by a cold or flu, is characterized by severe headache and discomfort behind the eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, bad breath, and loss of smell.
  • Stomach infections that occur due to the presence of a virus or bacteria. It is accompanied by stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

More severe infections that cause fever

Although they may require medical attention and antibiotic treatment to overcome the infection, the above conditions are considered less severe. However, there are cases in which the presence of an intense fever that does not go down along with other symptoms may correspond to a condition that requires immediate medical attention.

The more severe cases of fever include:

  • Central respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia. They usually appear after a cold or flu and are characterized by constant coughing, breathing difficulties, fatigue, and pressure in the chest area.
  • Mononucleosis is characterized by symptoms such as a sore throat, swollen glands, muscle pain, fatigue, and skin rashes.
  • Appendicitis is characterized by right-sided abdominal pain, navel pain, fever that won’t go down, nausea, and vomiting. It requires immediate hospitalization and surgery to remove the appendix.
  • Inflammations in the meninges include viral and bacterial meningitis, the latter of great severity and complicated sequelae. Its main symptom is a stiff neck accompanied by headache, listlessness, drowsiness, and sensitivity to light.
  • Infections are caused by Aedes aegypti bites, such as denguechikungunya, or the Zika virus. Each pathology has its symptoms, but in general, they produce, in addition to fever, headache, pain in the bones and muscles, and significant general discomfort.
  • Other less common infections such as those that attack the bones or skin.

Causes of fever in young children

In addition to the above pathologies, many of which can affect babies and young children, such as colds and flu, stomach and throat infections, otitis, respiratory infections, meningitis, or infections caused by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, There are other conditions typical of this age that commonly cause fever.

The application of certain vaccines and teething are two of the most frequent reasons why babies and young children present an elevation in body temperature. This condition will subside after a few hours on its own or with the appropriate antipyretic treatment.

Other possible causes of high temperature

Although the conditions mentioned above are the most common causes of fever in people of all ages, some inflammatory, autoimmune, or tumor diseases can also cause an increase in body temperature, for example:

When to go to the doctor?

Fever is undoubtedly a sign that our immune system is fighting something. Although it is a common condition in many diseases, it is essential to see a doctor immediately when:

  • This is a child under one-year-old with a fever over 38ºC.
  • The child is less than two years old and has had a fever for more than 24 hours.
  • Children, adolescents, and adults with a temperature above 40 ºC.
  • Children, adolescents, or adults with a fever that does not go down after 48 hours.
  • There is an intermittent fever for a week or more.
  • Other intense symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, ears, etc.
  • If there is a stiff neck, a sign of meningitis.
  • It is advisable to seek health care if you have recently traveled abroad, mainly visiting an endemic country.
  • If the person is confused, sleepy, unconscious, or has difficulty speaking and walking.

This article is merely informative; at FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Causes of fever, we recommend that you enter our Immune System category.

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