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Fever is a Rise in Our Body

Fever is a Rise in Our Body

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Published by mdsay1975

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Published by: mdsay1975 on Feb 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Fever is a rise in our body's normal temperature, which, on average, is 98.6degrees Farenheit. Fever is part of our body's defense mechanism. When our bodies are fighting infections, our body temperature rises. But why? Fever is asymptom of an infection. Fever is a symptom of almost every disease known toman. Illnesses caused by viruses and bacteria invade our bodies and make ussick. Without our immune system to fight off these infections, we could die.Colds, tonsillitis, otitis media, the flu, bronchitis, tetanus, measles, mumps,chicken pox, AIDS, pneumonia are all examples of bacterial and viral infections.Temperature is usually measured in the mouth by a thermometer being heldunder the tongue for 5 to 8 minutes. Other ways to measure body temperatureinclude rectally, axillary (armpit), and using a special temperature taking device inthe ear.Fever is a good thing. Does that sound like an odd statement? Fever is our body's natural response to fighting germs. Symptoms of a fever include: chills,aching everywhere, listlessness, elevated body temperature on the thermometer,red cheeks, and feeling hot or cold, shaking. The body basically shivers and haschills when the fever is rising, especially rapidly and sweats when the fever isdropping, or breaking, as some say.The cause of the fever is quite an intricate process. Our blood and lymphaticsystems produce white blood cells which are what fight off infection. As our whiteblood cells increase in number, like an army to fight the germs, they go faster and faster attacking the germs, this causes our bodies to heat up, thus causingthe fever or rise in body temperature. The hypothalamus in the brain, which is thebody's heat regulating mechanism is affected by the pyrogens, or the white bloodcells that are produced to fight the infection. So, in effect, we can say that thefever is what is fighting the infection. That is why it is not good to try tobring down a fever too much or too fast. A temperature of 100 to 101 degreesFarenheit is good for the body because it shows that the body is fighting theinfection. However, if a fever goes too high, measures must be taken to bring thefever down a bit. Antipyretics are medications that lower fever, such as tylenol,aspirin and so on. Never give a child aspirin products if it is believed they havechicken pox or the flu. This could lead to a condition called Reye's Syndrome thatis potentially fatal.When a fever is 104 or 105 degrees this is very high. Above 105 degrees,damage can occur in the nervous system. Also, seizures can occur above 102degrees in some people, usually children. When you have a fever, even thoughthe fever is working to help you, it still makes you feel awful. Some comfortmeasures for someone with a fever include fever-reducing medications, cool wetrag on the head, cover in light blanket (heavy blankets actually trap the heat),avoid taking hot baths, this will only increase your temperature, drink plenty of fluids, especially clear cool liquids such as water and fruit juice to preventdehydration, if the fever is high, you may give a light sponge bath using tepidwater only, not cool or cold water, and no alcohol! Keep the person covered with

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