Fever is a condition when the body temperature is above the number 38 degrees Celsius. Fever is part of the immune process that is fighting infections due to bacteria, viruses, or parasites. In addition fever can also occur in conditions of hyperthyroidism, arthritis, or because of the use of several types of drugs, including antibiotics. The increase in body temperature due to consumption of this drug is called drug fever.
Although sometimes worrying, a high fever does not always indicate that you have a serious illness. Fever that is often found in infectious cases of children is often not dangerous. In fact, fever is a sign that the immune system is trying to fight the infection.
Fever is not a disease, but a symptom that often accompanies self-healing diseases without the need for treatment, such as flu or colds. Therefore, the fever will disappear by itself when the underlying disease is cured. But to treat a more severe fever, some fever-lowering drugs can be purchased freely at the pharmacy. Read the rules of use and follow the recommended dosage.
Symptoms that accompany fever depend on the cause of the fever itself. The following are examples of symptoms that can accompany fever:
- Cold sweat
- Sore throat
- Pain in the ear
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling tired
- The neck feels stiff and the eyes become very sensitive to light
- Vomiting continuously
- Reddish patches appear on the skin
- Hard to breathe
- Constantly feeling sleepy
- If you / your child feels pain
- Children do not want to drink and rarely urinate.
How to use the correct thermometer
There are several types of thermometers available in Indonesia today, including mercury thermometers, ear thermometers, and digital thermometers. Among the three, most digital thermometers are chosen because besides being economical, their use is also easy and the results are quite accurate. Therefore, the following will be discussed about the most appropriate way to use a digital thermometer.
Digital thermometers can be applied to three parts of the body: mouth, armpit, and anus. Make sure that you don't use the same thermometer to measure the temperature in the anus with the temperature in the armpit or mouth. Here are simple steps you can follow to use a digital thermometer:
- Wash your hands with soap then rinse and dry thoroughly.
- Clean your thermometer, either by washing it in warm water or using alcoholic cotton.
- Turn on your thermometer by pressing the existing button, and wait until the writing on the screen stops flashing.
- Place the thermometer in the armpit fold.
- Hold the thermometer in the same position for approximately 40 seconds or until the thermometer rings.
- Take a thermometer from the armpit, then read the writing on the screen. The number indicated shows the person's body temperature.
- Clean the thermometer again using cold water or using an alcoholic cotton swab.
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Causes of Fever
The temperature of the human body can change. The body temperature will be lower in the morning and increase in the afternoon and evening. The average body temperature of a human is 37 degrees Celsius. In general, normal body temperature is between 36.5-37.5 degrees Celsius. Some things that affect body temperature are sports activities and menstrual cycles.
The following are causes of fever that often occur:
- Post-immunization, for example after receiving a pneumococcal vaccine or TB vaccine ( tuberculosis ).
- Various kinds of viral and bacterial infections such as sore throats, food poisoning, meningitis , typhus , dysentery, chickenpox , and urinary tract infections .
- Infection due to mosquito bites such as dengue fever, malaria and chikungunya.
- Medications such as antibiotics, antihypertension and antidepressants.
- Stand too long in the sun.
- Diseases such as arthritis and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).
- Cancer, such as leukemia , liver cancer , and lung cancer .
Treatment of Fever
Fever with a temperature that is not too high and does not last long usually does not require fever-lowering drugs. But to deal with bodily discomfort, there are several fever-lowering drugs that can be purchased freely at drug stores. It is recommended to see a doctor if the temperature of the fever gets higher or does not improve after three days.
The following are some examples of drugs to treat fever due to infection:
- Paracetamol and ibuprofen. People who have a fever can feel uncomfortable. Take medication according to the dosage and rules of use or as recommended by the doctor. The use of large amounts of long-term paracetamol can damage the liver or kidneys. Both of these drugs can be bought directly at the pharmacy.
- Aspirin. This medicine is specifically for adults. Do not give to children. This drug can trigger Reye's syndrome, a disease that can affect the brain and also the liver. Aspirin can be purchased without the need for a doctor's prescription.
- Antibiotics. This medication is given as prescribed by a doctor if there is a suspicion of a bacterial infection that causes fever, such as pneumonia.
Here are some things you can do at home to help relieve fever:
- Break. You need enough rest to recover and help your body immunity. Too much activity can increase body temperature.
- Use thin clothes and stay in the room with cool air.
- Drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Fever can cause the body to lose a lot of fluid.
Complications caused by fever can include severe dehydration, hallucinations, and convulsions.
Prevention of Fever
Fever can be prevented by applying a clean lifestyle in everyday life. This is done to reduce exposure to infectious diseases that often cause fever.
Make it a habit to always wash your hands if you feel exposed to objects or environments that are not sterile. You can also use wet wipes or hand sanitizers while traveling.
Keep hands from nose, mouth and eyes. These three parts are the main door for bacteria and viruses to enter the human body. Try to cover your mouth when you cough or nose when sneezing. Also avoid sharing the use of glasses, drinking water bottles, and eating utensils with other people.