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As an adult, we often overlook the symptoms of fever, but the slightest raise in temperature in our kid’s body makes us restless and leaves us wondering what went wrong, how long does fever last and how can it be cured. Usually, fever is short lived and is harmless but if not taken care well on time, it can cause trouble for the patient. No matter whether it has affected a kid or an adult, the right kind of treatment at the right time is a must. Prolonged fever either in adults or kids can be a reason for worry as it can pose some serious threats to health.
The usual human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but there are some people whose body temperature normally stays at 99 degrees, and then there are such people as well whose body temperature generally remains as low as 97 degrees. Usually, the body temperature is higher during noon as compared to morning and night. It differs from person to person, however, if the temperature is higher than your usual body temperature then you may have a fever. The elevated body temperature may lead to shivering or sweating. You may need an extra set of blankets to wrap around you till the time your temperature doesn’t go down.
Reasons Causing Fever
There can be endless reasons causing fever, and every reason will have a different impact on the human body. However, some of the common reasons affecting body temperature are:
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Overexposure to heat or cold
- Inflammatory conditions
- Effect of certain medicines
- Certain vaccinations can also lead to elevated body temperatures
These are the most common reasons for elevated temperatures which brings us to the initial question of how long does a fever last ?
Usually Fever lasts for not more than 2 to 3 days, but there are certain conditions when fever stays for a much longer time and the reason for the same remains unidentified. Even if after three weeks your doctor remains unaware about the reason then it may lead to massive complications.
Symptoms of fever
Every difficulty or problem always gives a hint before arriving and same is the case with fever. There are certain symptoms that can tell you if you have or are going to have a fever. It is really important to know about all these symptoms so that the right medication can be taken at the right time to avoid things to go out of control.
Apart from an elevated temperature, the additional symptoms are:
- Excessive sweating
- Body ache
- Loss of appetite
These are the usual symptoms of fever and generally go away within 2 to 3 days. But there are certain symptoms that require immediate attention from the doctors as these can lead to some serious health concerns at a later stage.
Symptoms that require immediate medical supervision
- If body temperature is more than 103 degrees.
- Constantly increasing skin rashes.
- Severe pain and stiffness around the neck.
- Continuous vomiting
- Difficulty in breathing
- Feeling pain in the chest
- Pain in the abdomen
- Pain while urinating or passing stool
- Swollen legs or hands
- Either feeling extremely sleepy or not sleepy at all
- When a kid is extremely irritated and restless
- Vomiting continuously
- Fever for more than 4 days
- Not able to make eye contact
- Over sleepiness
These are some of those symptoms other than body temperature that must be addressed without making any delay. If ignored, these symptoms can turn into complications that make situations worse for the patient.
What can be done to bring the body temperature down?
It is really important to understand the importance of time when down with a fever. As discussed earlier, usually fever stays for not more than 3 days but if the body temperature doesn’t come down even after that then you really need to see your doctor. However, during those one or two days of fever, you just can’t wait for the fourth day to see whether the fever continues or not and must take action from day one to ensure that it doesn’t last for a long time.
There are various things that you can do to make yourself feel better and comfortable:
If your body temperature is not much high and is just 99 or 100 degrees then you can always take common medicines for fever. These medicines usually help to bring down the elevated temperatures and don’t let it stay for a long time. However, if you are already taking any medicines or allergic to any of the medicinal salts, then you must avoid taking any medicine without seeking the doctor’s intervention.
2. Increase the intake of fluids
During fever, you must ensure that you increase the intake of fluids. The more you take these fluids, the sooner your temperature will fall down. Try to drink water, juices or shakes- these fluids help you to cool down from the inside and also help to bring your body temperature down. It also helps in preventing dehydration.
3. The Towel method
If the fever is high you can always keep a towel dipped in cold water over the forehead. This is one of the tried and tested traditional ways of bringing down elevated temperatures.
There are common widespread myths about fever, that it will go away after its own course of time and if played with, it can only worsen. However medical science doesn’t approve this theory and suggests to take all the necessary steps to ensure that fever doesn’t stay for a very long time.
If fever is prolonged for a very long time, doctors usually recommend various tests like a blood test, urine test, stool test, and mucus test. These tests are done to find the source of the infection.
If fever remains for more than three weeks, doctors can also recommend certain tests such as liver, kidney function tests, scans, and many others. It is really important to find out the reason for such prolonged fever to ensure that the right kind of medication is given at the right time to avoid any serious threat to health.
Prevention is always better than cure
There are certain ways through which we can prevent ourselves and our children from getting exposed to certain kinds of infections causing fever.
Here are some tips that can help you to keep the fever away and not worry about how long it lasts:
- Make sure to wash hands with soap every time you come from outside, before and after eating, after going to the washroom, after touching pets, or after visiting someone who is not well.
- Try to carry a sanitizer along with you especially while traveling. These sanitizers are like saviors when you don’t have access to soaps and towel in public places.
- Try not to touch your eyes, mouth or nose without washing hands. These are the most sensitive areas through which infection or bacteria can enter your body.
- Make sure to cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. This way you can prevent others from getting infected because of you.
- If you are not feeling well, avoid sharing cups, plates or any other utensils with anyone else especially your kids.
Fever usually lasts for about two to three days. You must visit your doctor immediately if it stays on longer than this duration. Always remember, right treatment at the right time is the only way to stay healthy and fit.