Most doctors recommend seeking medical attention if a low-grade fever is present for more than two days. If a person's fever spikes or goes above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, they should be seen immediately. A low-grade fever is a sign that the body is fighting off an infection or virus. When a fever spikes it indicates something is going on that the body is having trouble bringing under control. This could mean a bad virus or something else that could lead to serious health issues. While a fever's main purpose is to create an environment where viruses cannot thrive, carrying a fever for longer than two to three days may cause other health issues, such as dehydration or a decreased metabolism.
The purpose of a fever is to create an environment in which viruses and bacteria cannot thrive. It is one of the immune system's many mechanisms that work to protect the body from intruders that can cause illness or disease. When the body sustains a low-grade fever, it does so to allow sufficient time to destroy any organisms that do not belong in the body. For most people, the average body temperature is 98.6 degrees F. When their temperature reaches 100.0 degrees F. it is a sign that the body is fighting some type of infection. When a person's fever spikes to well over 100.0 degrees F., it is an indication that the body's immune system is working over time and may be in need of assistance.
When a person experiences a low-grade fever, many doctors are encouraging them to let the fever run its course. While it can be brought down with over the counter pain relievers, letting the fever do its job could result in an illness that has a much shorter duration. Sitting in a tub of tepid water will also help to bring down a fever. This works especially well with children who may not be able to take certain medications. If a person's fever spikes higher than 100.0 degrees F., a visit to the emergency room is in order. At the hospital, the doctor and staff will be able to take measures to reduce a person's fever while keeping them as comfortable as possible.
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