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Fever - Wikipedia

Fever - Wikipedia

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Published by: ronan_2905 on Feb 18, 2010
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to:navigation, search This article is about the medical condition. For other uses, seeFever (disambiguation).
An analogmedical thermometer  showing a temperature of  38.7 °C or 101.7 °F
(also known as
controlled hyperthermia
) is a commonmedical sign characterized by an elevation of temperature above the normal range of 36.5–37.5 °C(98–100 °F) due to an increase in the body temperatureregulatoryset-point.
Thisincrease in set-point triggers increased muscle tone and shivering. As a person's temperature increases there is generally a feeling of colddespite anincreasing body temperature. Once the new temperature is reached there is a feeling of warmth. A fever is one of the body'simmuneresponses which attempts to neutralize a bacterial or viral infection. A fever can be caused by many different conditions rangingfrom benign to potentially serious. With the exception of high-grade fever, treatment isoften not needed, however ibuprofenis effective at lowering the temperature.Fever differs from uncontrolledhyperthermia
 , usually just referred to as hyperthermia,in that hyperthermia is an increase in body temperature over the body's thermoregulatoryset-point, due to excessive heat production and/or insufficientthermoregulation.
Temperature ClassificationCore
(rectal, esophageal, etc.) Normal36.5–37.5 °C (98–100 °F)
Hypothermia<35.0 °C (95.0 °F)
>37.5–38.3 °C (100–101 °F)
Hyperthermia>37.5–38.3 °C (100–101 °F)
Hyperpyrexia>40.0–41.5 °C (104–107 °F)
 A wide range for normal temperatureshave been found.
Fever is generally agreed to be present if:
Temperature in the anus (rectum/rectal) is at or over 37.5–38.3 °C (100–101 °F)
Temperature in the mouth (oral) is at or over 37.7 °C (99.9 °F)
Temperature under the arm (axillary) or in the ear (otic) is at or over 37.2 °C(99.0 °F)In healthy adult men and women the range for oral temperature is 33.2–38.2 °C (92– 101 °F), for rectal it is 34.4–37.8 °C (94–100 °F), for tympanic membraneit is 35.4– 37.8 °C (96–100 °F) and for axillary it is 35.5–37.0 °C (96–99 °F).
People develop higher temperatures with activities but this is not considered a fever asthe set-point is normal. Elderly people have a decreased ability to generate body heat, soeven a low-grade temperature may represent a serious underlying illness.
[edit] Types
The pattern of temperature changes may occasionally hint at the diagnosis:
Intermittent fever: Elevated temperature is present only for some hours of the dayand becomes normal for remaining hours,
 malaria,kala-azar , pyaemia, or  septicemia.In malaria, there may be a fever with a periodicity of 24 hours(quotidian), 48 hours (tertian fever), or 72 hours (quartan fever, indicating
). These patterns may be less clear in travelers.
Pel-Ebstein fever : A specific kind of fever associated withHodgkin's lymphoma,  being high for one week and low for the next week and so on. However, there issome debate as to whether this pattern truly exists.
Continuous fever: Temperature remains above normal throughout the day anddoes not fluctuate more than 1 °C in 24 hours,
 lobar pneumonia,typhoid, urinary tract infection, brucellosis, or typhus.Typhoid fever may show a specific fever pattern, with a slow stepwise increase and a high plateau.
Remittant fever: Temperature remains above normal throughout the day andfluctuates more than 1 °C in 24 hours,
 infective endocarditis.A neutropenic fever, also calledfebrile neutropenia, is a fever in the absence of normalimmune system function. Because of the lack of infection-fightingneutrophils, a bacterialinfection can spread rapidly and this fever is therefore usually considered a medicalemergency. This kind of fever is more commonly seen in people receiving immune-suppressingchemotherapythan in apparently healthy people.Febricula
is a mild fever of short duration, of indefinite origin, and without anydistinctive pathology.
[edit] Hyperpyrexia
Hyperpyrexia is a fever with an extreme elevation of  body temperaturegreater than or equal to 41.5 °C (106.7 °F).
 Such a high temperature is considered a medical emergencyas it may indicate a serious underlying condition or lead to significant sideeffects.
The most common cause is a intracranial hemorrhage.
Other possible causesincludesepsis,Kawasaki syndrome,

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