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What is Fever?

How does infection cause fever?


During infection, phagocytes ingest certain bacteria and secrete a pyrogen (eg., interleukin-1) and this pyrogen circulates to the hypothalamus that induces the neurons to secrete prostaglandins, which reset the hypothalamic thermostat at a higher temperature causing fever.

What are rigors and chills?


Rigors / chills: The skin gets cold and we start to shiver. It means that the core body temperature is rising.

What is the crisis?


This happens when a person gets warm and begins to sweat. It means that the core body temperature is falling.

What is the source of endogenous pyrogens?


Macrophages and other immunity cells.

How do Aspirin and Panadol (paracetamol) reduce fever?


Aspirin blocks the formation of prostaglandins.

Apart from infection, what other things can cause fever?


Viral causes, ovulation, excessive thyroid hormones, tumors, reactions with vaccines, tissue death (e.g. myocardial infarction), surgery, heat stroke.

What happens to thermoregulation in heat stroke?


Thermoregulation becomes erratic and impossible during a heat stroke because of the bodys inability to lose heat. Blood flow to skin is decreased, perspiration is greatly reduced and body temperature rises.

Why do febrile patients shiver (rigors)? Why do they sometimes sweat after a dose of Panadol or aspirin?
Patients shiver because their core body temperature is on the rise. Theyre sweating after a dose of panadol because prostaglandin synthesis has ceased and theyre experiencing a crisis.

Once the set point is reset, how does the body increase its temperature to reach the new set point?
The body increases its Basal Metabolic Rate.