• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Why Do I Have Continuous Fever? Could it Be…

Fever is one of the most common symptoms that is seen in humans around the world. Fever is defined as an increase in the body temperature above the normal.

The normal body temperature in adult human beings has a range of 36.5–37.5 °C (97.7–99.5 °F). The normal body temperature range or children up to five years Is slightly higher as compared to adults. In their case, a temperature as high as 37.7°C (100°F)is considered normal.

Continuous Fevers are those which last for more than 10 days. Fever is a natural response by the body when dealing with infections. However, Continuous fever is a sign that there exists an underlying cause for it.

Continuous Fever Can Be Classified intoTwo Categories:

High-Grade Fever:  A fever is considered high-grade if the temperature is above 102.5°F. A fever so high affects the day to day activities of people and requires medical attention.

Low-Grade Fever: When the body temperature is above normal but below 102.5°F, it is a low-grade fever. A low-grade fever is considered a less serious condition when compared with high-grade fever.

In children, both low- and high-grade fevers are of serious concern as they can be signs of life-threatening infections. If you have a child with elevated temperature, seek medical help.

Continuous Fever Causes

Infections

A fever is the body’s response to fighting an infection. The following infections can cause continuous fever:

  1. Respiratory Infections: Respiratory infections such as the common cold and flu can cause continuous high Fever.

  2. Urinary Tract Infections: Urinary Tract infections are very common and can cause continuous high fevers.

  3. Other infections: Various other infections such as infections in wounds, tuberculosis and meningitis can cause persistent high fevers.

Corona Virus

The Coronavirus, of which Covid-19 is an example, has had a devastating effect on the world can also cause a continuous high fever in many cases.

Stress

Stress can result in slightly elevated body temperatures which can last for weeks. However, in most cases, it only results in low-grade fevers.

Cancer

Prolonged duration of fever can be a symptom of some forms of cancer.

Medication

Certain medications such as penicillin and thyroxine have been known to cause continuous fevers. If you have recently started with a new medication, and are experiencing continuous fever, inform yourdoctor.

Other causes

Other causes are rare and, in some cases, very difficult to identify.

Causes for Continuous Fever in a Child

A child can have a continuous fever because of all the above-mentioned causes and have a few additional causes as well.

  1. Immunization: Children are given a wide variety of vaccines. The administration of vaccines results in elevated body temperatures. The doctor usually provides adequate information about the possibility of developing a fever. However, if the fever turns into a continuous fever in a child then seek medical help

 Injection

Credits: Pixabay

Caption: A person being administered a vaccine.

Alt text: Injection

  1. Birth Defects: Birth defects are abnormal conditions that can infant is born with. Infants can develop a continuous fever due to birth defects.

  2. Teething: It is the process by which the baby’s teeth break through the gums and emerge. This process normally occurs between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. However, it can occur at slightly different ages as well.

Alarming symptoms To Watch Out For

If a continuous fever presents itself along with the following symptoms, then it can be a serious cause for concern.

  1. Unexplained Weight Loss: If you experience sudden weight loss along with a continuous high fever then it is an alarming situation. Most individuals like to lose weight but if that loss happens suddenly and with a continuous high fever that it can be a sign of chronic disease.

  2. Skin rashes and Spots: Skin rashes and spots can be a sign of serious diseases such as Chicken Pox. These signs should not be ignored as these diseases can be fatal.

: A red coloured rash on the body.

Credits: Pixabay

Caption: A rash which can be a symptom of a serious disease.

Alt text: A red coloured rash on the body.

  1. Difficulty in Breathing: This can be a sign of severe respiratory infections. It is also a symptom of the Coronavirus.

  2. Mental Confusion: Confusion along with a continuous high fever can be a symptom of impaired cognitive ability and a concussion.

  3. Sensitivity towards Light and Sound: It can be a symptom of Meningitis.

  4. Abdominal Pain: Abdominal pain can be a sign of severe stomach infections.

  5. Chills: Chills are persistent with Viral Fevers.

These symptoms, when clubbed with continuous high fever indicate towards severe diseases that can be life-threatening.

When should you see the doctor?

This depends on three factors:

  1. Duration: If the continuous high fever has been persisting for over 10 days then you should see a doctor.

  2. Type of fever: Low-grade fever usually resolves on its own but high-grade fever requires medical intervention.

  3. Accompanying Symptoms: If you have other symptoms along with a continuous high fever, then you should seek medical help.

In case of Continuous fever in a child, if the fever lasts for over 3 days then you should seek medical help.

Diagnosis

In order to treat continuous fever, one has to treat its cause. There are various diagnostic tests which are performed by health care professionals after taking your detailed medical history and symptoms into account. Some diagnostic tests which can help determine the cause of continuous high fever are:

  1. Blood tests: Widely used tests that have many clinical implications. Most commonly used to identify infections such as Typhoid.

  2. Urine Tests: These can be used to detect bacterial infections.

  3. Imaging Studies: Imaging studies such as CT scan and MRI are used to detect tumours

: A medical professional working with testing samples.

Credits: Pixabay

Captions: Laboratory tests being performed to determine the cause of the fever.

Alt Text: A medical professional working with testing samples.

Treatment for Continuous Fever

If the temperature is elevated constantly, then the cause must be identified and treated. This treatment has a very wide range depending on the cause.

To lower the temperature, health care professionals use drugs which are called Anti-Pyretic drugs. Anti-Pyretic drugs are commonly used medications such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. These are over the country drugs, which means that you can but them without a prescription from the doctor. If you chose to self-medicate, then only do it for 2-3 days as incorrect use can damage your condition.

Some people use antibiotics in self-medication practices to treat continuous fever without consulting a doctor. Antibiotics are not to be taken unless prescribed by a doctor. Do not use antibiotics as self-medication.

Tablets and capsules of different sizes and colours.

Credits:Pexels

Caption: Various kinds of Antipyretic medicines are available to reduce body temperature.

Alt Text: Tablets and capsules of different sizes and colours.

Conclusion

Continuous Fever can have various causes. In some cases, it resolves on its own without requiring medical intervention. However, if you are suffering from continuous fever, record your temperature in a proper manner and look out for accompanying symptoms. If the duration of the continuous fever gets long or new symptoms emerge immediately seek medical help. Continuous fever can be a sign of a severe underlying condition and should not be ignored.

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