Do fevers always mean increasing temperature? - Busting myths about common fevers

How many of you know that a fever is a war between the immune system and the germ? The germs won’t be able to tolerate high temperatures. Our body thus sends hormones to turn up the heat at the time of infection. Succinctly, a fever is a saviour rather than a destroyer.

What is a fever?

Fever is a condition where the body temperature temporarily shoots up. This usually happens due to some illness or some uncommon activity inside your body. Normal body temperature is liable to slight changes all the time. It is dependent on what we eat, how much we sleep, and even the time of the day. Fever, in most of the cases, helps to fight back infection. However, sometimes, at very high temperatures, fevers can be even life-threatening. Mild fevers are good for the body and don’t require any medications or treatments unless causing discomfort.

There are several myths about common fevers. 6 Common Myths about common fever are busted below.

Myth #1: All fever requires treatment.

Truth: Fevers are the body’s reflex action towards germs. Most of the time, we need to let our bodies do the work. Fevers need to be treated only if discomfort arises. Fever is usually a warning sign and if any more symptoms come up, that illness might require treatment. However, treating a fever won’t do any harm either.

Myth #2: High fever causes seizures and seizures with fever are dangerous.

Truth: It isn’t the fever but the sudden elevation of temperature which causes seizures. Only 4% of children might have seizures with fever. Also, most febrile seizures are never harmful. Although a bit disturbing to watch, it can go away within 5 minutes. No permanent injury will have resulted from this.

Myth #3: More the temperature, more severe the illness

Truth: Sometimes, high temperatures for days in teens and adults can turn to be serious, but in children, it is very rare. Body temperature isn’t always a reliant method to confirm an illness. Focus on other symptoms and get medical assistance in case the fever is never going down.

Myth #4: Fever can damage the brain

Truth: Like already said, fever is just a defence mechanism by the body. Fever nor febrile seizures can cause brain damage. Temperature above 108 F has chances of brain damage. The rise in body temperature to this extent is very rare though.

Myth #5: A cold water bath can bring the fever down.

Truth: A cold water bath is the least recommended activity during a fever. Coldwater increases the core body temperature which can result in shivering. Bath in lukewarm water can be refreshing.

Fever may not feel friendly, but it’s not necessarily your foe either. Fever can be treated by keeping yourself hydrated, changing clothes and the bed frequently, ventilating the room and keeping clothes and blankets to a minimum rather than going for antipyretics. Afterall we must let our bodies fight the war in peace.

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