Fever symptoms: What to look out for?
Although a raised body temperature is the definition of a fever, it’s often accompanied by other symptoms.
If a fever is very high, it may be accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
If you experience any severe fever symptoms, it’s important to check your temperature right away and go see a doctor. A high temperature can be caused by many different types of infections and it’s important to address the underlying cause promptly in order to heal.
How do I take my temperature?
Touching the forehead is a classic method to determine if someone’s temperature is raised, but it’s not very reliable. The only safe way to check if you or someone else has a fever is by measuring with a thermometer. Always read the label of the thermometer you are using.
Important! If your temperature is higher than 39.4°C, go see a doctor. High-grade fevers can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
Mouth. Oral thermometers are a good option to measure temperature in adults. You should not drink anything 15 minutes before you take your temperature by mouth to avoid that a hot drink could affect the reading. Keep the thermometer underneath the tongue for around 20 seconds and keep your mouth closed. You can wash the device with a bit of soap afterward to keep it clean.
Ear. Thermometers that are held up against the ear are the most popular because they’re easy to use and very accurate. They’re also great to use with children for that reason. When you hold the thermometer to your ear, an infrared sensor will determine your temperature and the device displays a reading. But be careful not to insert the device too far into the ear canal.
Rectal. Rectal temperature readings are still the most accurate according to research studies. They’re also the better choice for babies under the age of six months because of the high accuracy. As the name suggests, the tip of the thermometer is inserted into the rectum—about one centimetre. Hold it in place for about 40 seconds. Once you have your reading, make sure to clean it properly.
An elevated body temperature is usually a sign of an infection of some kind but it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint why you have a fever. The underlying causes can determine the severity and duration of your fever.
The more common conditions that can trigger a temperature include:
1. Infections: From flu to the common cold. A fever is a common sign of a viral or bacterial infection. You should check for other signs such as a runny nose, cough, body aches, and fatigues.
2. Immunisations or certain medications like antibiotics can cause a fever.
3. Tropical disease can cause fever.
If you’re not sure what’s causing your higher-than-normal temperature or if it doesn’t go away even after taking medication like Panadol, visit a doctor.