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Although normal body temperatures can vary throughout the day, the average adult normal body temperature when taken by mouth with a thermometer is 37°C (98.6°F). When someone has a fever, the body raises the normal body temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F). Fever is actually the body’s natural way of defending itself from invaders like viruses and bacteria, because many can’t survive in the body with the temperature caused by a fever. The degree of temperature increase doesn’t necessarily correspond to the severity of the illness.

When the body is fighting an injury or infection, a part of the brain sets the body temperature at a higher level. When the body’s thermostat is set back to normal, excess heat is lost through sweating. Sometimes chills occur when this happens. In most cases, fever don’t require seeing a doctor. It’s best to look at all of the symptoms. If there are symptoms other than fever that are bothersome, a health care professional should be contacted. After asking questions, your doctor will also perform a physical examination to look for an infection or signs of a disease.

Here are a few things to do for relief until the fever breaks:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to compensate for fluid loss from sweating, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Remove extra blankets and excess clothing so heat can leave the body and help lower the body temperature. If you’re shivering, that might make you heat up more.
  • Keep the room temperature around 20°C

Doctors generally only treat fevers above 102°F (38.9°C) in children, and above 101.3°F (38.5°C) in adults.

However, fevers in children less than 6 months old should be reported to a doctor immediately. Check with your health care professional before using medications and ask your Pharmasave Valleyview Pharmacist if you have any questions.