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What to do in High fever

Knowing what to do with a high fever can help you assess the severity of the situation and take timely action. This can help prevent complications and provide relief to the patient too.

High fever is defined as an elevated body temperature that is higher than the normal range. The normal body temperature for adults is 98.6°F (37°C). Generally, a fever higher than 100.4°F (38°C) is in the high fever range. Fever is the body's natural response against infections and can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Knowing what to do with a high fever can help you assess the severity of the situation and take timely action. This can help prevent complications and provide relief to the patient too. In some cases, a high fever may require immediate medical attention, but in other cases, it can be managed at home too.

Here we will help you understand the causes and symptoms of high fever and ways to manage it effectively.

Understanding Causes, Symptoms And, Treatment of High Fever

Causes of high fever

The symptoms of high fever depend on its root cause. Here are a few common causes of high fever:

  • Infection: It is one of the most common reasons for high fever. Viral infections such as the common cold, flu, pneumonia, or bacterial infections like urinary tract infections can cause a high fever.
  • Food Poisoning: Consuming food contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or their toxins can cause digestive issues. In response to the infection, the body's immune system starts working and can elevate the body temperature, leading to fever.
  • Medications: Intake of a few medicines can cause fever as a side effect. Certain antihistamines and antibiotics may cause spikes in body temperature.
  • Heat Stroke: Doing extensive physical activity in scorching heat or prolonged exposure to high temperatures in hot and humid weather can cause a high fever.
  • Immunisation: Certain shots can cause a temporary high fever as a side effect.

Symptoms of High Fever

A fever is usually considered high when the thermometer reads anything above 100.4°F (38°C) orally. However, this threshold for a high fever may vary from case to case.

Following are a few common symptoms of high fever:

  • Chills and Sweating: Shivering is quite common during a high fever. It is usually followed by sweating as the body regulates its temperature.
  • Headache and body aches: Most illnesses start with a headache, and so does a high fever. It can range from mild to severe. In addition to that, muscle aches and joint pain are also common during high fever. It can make the patient feel fatigued.
  • Loss of Appetite: Because of fatigue, the patient can lose his/her appetite.
  • Dehydration: As discussed above, fevers are followed by increased sweating and loss of fluid from the body, resulting in dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include increased thirst, dry mouth, reduced urine output, and fatigue.
  • Other Symptoms: Depending on the underlying cause, additional symptoms may be present, such as cough, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, rashes, abdominal pain, etc.

 The high fever treatment depends on the specific symptoms and can vary depending on the underlying cause of the fever. If someone experiences a high fever that doesn't lower after medications, it is advisable to seek medical advice for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Essential Steps for Managing High Fever

There are many ways to manage high fever and associated body pain. Here is a step-by-step guide for the same:

Step 1: Monitor and record temperature accurately

Measure the body temperature using a reliable thermometer at regular intervals. Maintain a record of the same and check if the fever is improving or worsening.

Step 2: Maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness

A person with a high fever might also be susceptible to spreading the infection to others. Maintaining hygiene and cleanliness around sick people is essential to avoid the spread of infection. Use Dettol hand wash and sanitiser at regular intervals while caring for sick people.

Step 3: Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet

The body needs nutrition to fight against infection and normalise the body temperature. Hence, eat balanced and nutritious meals during high fever.

A high fever is usually accompanied by sweating, which leads to losing fluids through sweating. Stay hydrated by drinking water, fruit juices, soup, herbal teas, or electrolyte solutions.

Step 4: Rest and prioritise self-care

Proper rest helps the person fight against the underlying cause of high fever effectively. A common home remedy for high fever is a sponge bath. Using water strips on the body helps bring down the temperature and provides temporary relief. 

Step 5: Seek medical advice and follow professional guidance

If the high fever persists and you are uncertain about its cause, consult a healthcare professional. They will conduct a series of tests to diagnose the underlying condition and provide appropriate treatment.

Prevention of Fever and Good Hygiene Practices

A fever happens when your body is fighting against viral or bacterial infections. Good hygiene practices will keep the pathogens at bay and help prevent fever and other related diseases.

Here are some good hygiene practices to follow to prevent high fever in adults:

  • Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with Dettol Liquid Handwash and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after using the restroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after being in public places. If soap and water are unavailable, use Dettol hand sanitiser containing alcohol.
  • Respiratory Hygiene: Flu is a common infection that can cause a fever as high as 103 in adults and easily spreads when an infected person coughs. To avoid the spread of disease, one must cover the mouth with a tissue while coughing or sneezing. Click for more information on viral fever.
  • Maintain distance from the sick: Avoid close contact with persons who are ill or showing symptoms of illness, such as fever, coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and Disinfect: Use Dettol Wipes or other cleaning solution to disinfect frequently touched surfaces like light switches, door knobs, phones, keyboards etc. 
  • Healthy Lifestyle practices: Eat a balanced diet with plenty of green leafy vegetables and fruits, stay hydrated, exercise regularly and sleep properly.

Vaccinations: Get all the vaccine shots in time. They protect against various infectious diseases and prevent fever associated with them.

Effective management of high fever is crucial for the well-being and recovery of an individual. The preventive measures reduce the spread of diseases, in turn reducing the risk of fevers. Click here for more information on how to prevent infection.  


Disclaimer: All reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the published material (“Material”), however the Material shall not be treated as medical advice in any manner. The Material is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a qualified doctor for any form of medical advice and guidance. The Material is published without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the Material lies with the reader. In no event shall Reckitt Benckiser (India) Private Limited or its affiliates be liable for any damages or any other consequence arising from the use of the Material.

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