Early symptoms of fever


The earliest of the early symptoms of fever is an abnormal rise in temperature. However, there is no specific number that can be said to be normal for everyone. Although 98.6 F is considered to be the average normal temperature, the norm for any given individual can be a little above or under that. Moreover, we could talk about the symptoms of fever, though it is probably more accurate to speak of fever as a symptom of something else. As a matter of fact, fever is more often than not a sign that something is wrong in the body.

Therefore, the symptoms vary depending on the cause of the fever, though the general signs include:

·         Sweating    

·         Shivering    

·         Headache    

·         Muscle aches    

·         Loss of appetite    

·         Dehydration    

·         General weakness

Higher fevers raging between 103 F and 106 F may cause the following symptoms:

·         Hallucinations    

·         Confusion    

·         Irritability    

·         Convulsions    

·         Dehydration

In spite of that, there doesn’t necessarily have to be a cause-and-effect relationship between the degree of the fever and the severity of the condition that’s causing it. That is, a high fever may be caused by a minor illness, and a serious illness can cause a low fever. Even though an adult can be said to have fever when their temperature is above 99 or 99.5 F, it isn’t usually considered dangerous until it reaches 103 F. As for children, establishing whether they have a fever depends not only on the temperature, but also where it is measured.


Fever in Children

100.4 F

99.5 F

99 F

Measured rectally

Measured orally

Measured under the arm


The causes of fever are multiple and sometimes hard to determine. For instance, a doctor may have no choice but to declare a nagging fever of 101 F or higher and lasting longer than 3 weeks as ‘of unknown origin,’ if extensive evaluation yields no conclusive results. On the other hand, fever could be the very first symptom of cancer. Let’s have a look at some of the potential causes of fever:


Causes of Fever


Autoimmune or inflammatory disorders


·         Pneumonia

·         Bone infections

·         Appendicitis

·         Tuberculosis

·         Skin infections

·         Cellulitis

·         Meningitis

·         Respiratory infections

·         Ear infections

·         Sinus infections

·         Infectious mononucleosis

·         Bronchitis

·         Urinary tract infections

·         Viral and bacterial gastroenteritis

·         Arthritis

·         Ulcerative colitis

·         Crohn’s disease

·         Vasculitis

·         Periateritis nodosa

·         Hodgkin’s disease

·         Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

·         Leukemia


Further causes of fever are:

·         Heat exhaustion

·         Extreme sunburn

·         Certain medications and immunizations

·         Teething

·         Blood clots

·         Thrombophlebitis

More often than not, however, the early symptoms of fever go away on their own without progressing to something far worse. In fact, it is better to leave it be as it is believed to play a major part in fighting off infections. That doesn’t mean that fever can’t lead to complications in some occasions, such as:

·         Severe dehydration

·         Hallucinations

·         Fever-induced febrile seizures


Even though it is important to keep the above in mind, parents need not worry if, despite the fever, their child:

·         Remains interested in playing

·         Eats and drinks well

·         Remain alert and smiling

·         Maintains a normal color of skin

·         Looks well after the temperature has come down

All of that means that the fever mild and requires no other treatment than getting plenty of rest and fluids (water, soup, gelatin). Over the counter medications to lower the fever are not needed unless the child is uncomfortable, throwing up, or dehydrated. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen help reduce fever in both children and adults.







Every 4 to 6 hours*


Advil, Motrin

Every 6 to 8 hours*

 *Or as directed by a doctor

Aspirin can lower fever as well but it should be used in adults only. Additionally, fever can be lowered with a lukewarm bath or a sponge bath, but not with cold baths, ice, or alcohol rubs, which do cool the skin, they may also be counterproductive since the shivering they cause actually raises core body temperature. Like we’ve stressed before, fever are seldom cause of concern, and you can help keep it by way by resorting to a doctor or even emergency care when and if the situation warrants it.


What to do



Call a doctor

-Is younger than 3 months with a rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher.

-Is 3 to 12 months old with a fever of 102.2 F or higher.

-Is younger than 2 years with fever lasting longer than 24-48 hrs.

-Is older with a fever lasting more than 48-72 hrs.

-Has over 105 F that doesn’t drop with treatment.

-Has other symptoms like sore throat, earache, and cough.

-Has had recurrent fevers for a week or more.

-Has heart problems, sickle cell anemia, or cystic fibrosis

-Had a recent immunization.

-Has a new rash or bruises.

-Has pain while urinating

-Has immune system problems.

-Has traveled recently to a 3rd world country.

-Have a fever higher than 105 F that doesn’t drop with treatment.

-Have a fever staying at or rising above 103 F.

-Have had recurrent fevers for a week or more.

-Have a fever that lasts more than 48-72 hrs.

-Have a heart problem, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, COPD, or other chronic lung problems.

-Have a new rash or bruises.

-Have pain while urinating.

-Have immune system problems.

-Have traveled recently to a 3rd world country.

Call 911

-        Can’t be awakened.

-        Appears confused.

-        Can’t walk.

-        Has problems breathing.

-        Has blue lips, tongue, or nails.

-        Has a severe headache.

-        Has a stiff neck.

-        Has a seizure.

-        Is crying and can’t be calmed down, or refuses to move an arm or leg (children).


A doctor will attempt to ascertain whether the cause of the fever is infectious or non-infectious. This can be accomplished by examining the skin, eyes, ear, nose, throat, neck, chest, and abdomen. Further tests may be performed depending on the duration if the fever, including:

·         Blood studies

·         Urinalysis

·         Chest X-rays

If a bacterial infection is found, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. Antibiotics have no effect on viral infections, and there are but a few antiviral drugs employed in the treatment of some specific viral infections. The best treatment for fever remains rest and liquid intake, and the best prevention method is for children and adults to wash their hands as frequently as possible.