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 you experience any severe fever symptoms, it’s important 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 get better.
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 accurate 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 38 °C (100 F), go see a doctor. High-grade fevers can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
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.
Thermometers that are to be inserted into 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.
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 high temperature include:
1. Infections: From flu to the common cold to pneumonia to strep throat—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. Inflammatory diseases: Some conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease can cause your body temperature to rise.
3. Immunisations (e.g. tetanus) or certain medications like antibiotics can cause a fever.
4. Tropical disease: e.g., Malaria 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 (paracetamol), visit a doctor.