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What are the Symptoms, Causes, and Types of Fever?

  • 4.8   (10 Votes)
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MBBS on 03 Nov 2018 - Written by Dr. R K Sharma - MBBS - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MBBS

Symptoms of fever include temperature above 100.4 F, chills, shivering, muscle and joint aching, excessive sweating, loss of appetite, and persistent vomiting. Fever causes are typhoid fever, hyperpyrexia, septicemia, remittent, bacterial, and fungal fever. Pregnant women need to take proper measures for fever.

There are times when we all have suffered from fever but never tried to know what actually fever is? Do any of us even try to understand when and how to treat fever?  Having a fever is more than you think specially if it is during pregnancy, a child or any adult suffering from it. Go through the information you need for addressing a fever.

Fever in layman terms is actually an elevated human body's temperature above normal range. The range exceeds from 36-37 Centigrade or 98-100 Fahrenheit. When the temperature of individual raises, he/she might feel a sensation of cold till the temperature level off and don't rise further. This elevated temperature is a way immune system tries to fight against an infection. But if it is rising, then it is serious and may lead to complications.

There are certain factors that are responsible for the like infections (flu, chickenpox, pneumonia), over exposure to sunlight, dehydration, heat stroke while urinary tract infection, cold, hyperthyroidism, gastrointestinal issues are some of the causes of illness during pregnancy. Symptoms include shivering, lack of appetite, sweating, sleepiness, hyperalgesia and dehydration.

Causes of Fever

Fever occurs when Hypothalamus (an area in brain) exceeds from the set point of the normal body temperature. And during this the individual might feel chilled or shiver. Illness or increased body temperature may have below causes:

  • Viral infection has been the most common cause in infants and young adults. Bacterial infection is the other cause.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Overexposed skin to sunlight
  • Dehydration

Fever Causes

  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Silicosis
  • Heat Stroke
  • Any trauma

Fever Symptoms

Below is a rundown of signs and symptoms of illness:

  • Severe Headache
  • Temperature above 100.4 F
  • Chills, shivering and shaking
  • Muscles and joints aching
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sore eyes
  • Loss of appetite

Fever symptoms

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Unusual skin rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty in breathing

Types of Fever

Apart from increase in temperature, causes and symptoms fever also has types and each of it denotes a specific disease and infection. Below is a list of types and illness linked to increase in body temperature:

1- ContinuousIf individual's temperature stays above normal from last 24 hours and doesn't change more than 1° C then it might occur due to any of the below type:

2- Pneumonia- This is caused due to Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenza and Moraxella catarrhalis, which is a severe bacterial infection in lungs. Problem in breathing and impaired exchange of gases are some of its effects.
How to treat fever

3- Typhoid Fever- this types weakens the body, enlarges liver and causes intestinal bleeding. It is caused due to ingestion of food and water polluted with feces of any person infected with bacteria within Salmonella subspecies.

4- Urinary Tract Infection- Infection caused by bacteria such as E Coli and rarely by fungi or virus, this disease gives severe discomfort while urinating. And it is amongst one of the cause of illness during pregnancy.

5-Hyperpyrexia- It is said to occur when body's temperature exceeds to 41.5° C or 105° F. It takes place under the stated conditions Tetanus, Malaria, heat stroke, Septicemia and Encephalitis. Because of its severe complications, it is treated as medical emergency and needs aggressive medical attention.

6- Intermittent- This type lasts for certain period, disappears for some time and then returns perpetuating the cycle. If spikes occur daily then it is Quotidian, if on alternate day then it is Tertian while within 72 hours then it is termed as Quartan fever. The infections for this type is caused due to following:

7- Malaria - A disease caused due to Anopheles mosquito bite carrying Plasmodium species bacteria. Apart from illness it causes vomiting, headaches, fatigue and seizures.

8- Septicemia- It is caused due to multiple types of bacteria as well as viruses and fungi.

9- Remittent- It is quite similar to Continuous infection as the individual will have elevated temperature continuously. The only difference is it fluctuates more than 1° C. It occurs due to inflammation of inner tissues of heart and is caused by Streptococcus aureus.

10- Bacterial- This type can affect almost any organ system in the body caused due to bacterial illness.

11- Central Nervous System infections can cause confusion, neck stiffness or headache.

12- Lower Respiratory system infection includes pneumonia and bronchitis. These can also cause illness. Chest pain, coughing, thick mucus production are some of its symptoms.

13- Upper respiratory system infections that occur in ears, nose, throat and sinuses. Viral infection is the most common cause while cough, sore throat or headache may indicate a bacterial infection.

14- Vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset or blood in stool can detect gastrointestinal system infection. Infection of appendix, gall bladder or liver results in abdominal pain and requires medical attention.

15- FungalIt can affect any organ system and physician detects such infections via physical examination. Further testing is required and biopsy is required in extreme cases.

How to Treat Fever?

Instead of normalizing the temperature of body, the prime concern of treatment is to improve the patient's comfort.

1- The doctor might recommend you with over the counter medication if you are suffering from high or low fever like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB).

2- Your doctor might prescribe you an antibiotic depending upon the illness cause. Antibiotics don't treat viral infections. So, for treating the viral infections apart from using antiviral drugs or most minor illness are taking rest and intake of lots of fluids.

3- For pregnant women, it is advised to take enough water as it helps in reducing the illness symptoms, resting and stay in touch with their doctors for proper medication.

The person suffering from fever should avoid getting in contact with other people, as it will prevent the infection from spreading. Avoiding any source of infection and maintaining a healthy hygiene practices are the best methods for preventing the infection.

Hope, this article has helped you to resolve your queries on Fever. Follow Elawoman blog to get regular updates on fertility health and treatment.

Dr. R K Sharma

Written by

Reproductive Endocrinologist, Hysteroscopic Surgeon

Dr. R K Sharma has completed MBBS and MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Pune University in 1981 and 1989 respectively. Dr. R K Sharma is one of the pioneers in the field of IVF treatment in India. He specializes in IUI, IVF, Embryo transfer and Hysteroscopy procedures. He is also a member of Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology Societies of India (FOGSI). Dr. R K Sharma is presently practicing at Primus Super Specialty Hospital, Chanakyapuri, Delhi. To know more, visit


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Anant Saxena

Having cold water strips work wonderfully during high fever. My mom implements this technique when anyone in my family has fever. It really works.

Oct. 13, 2018, 8:40 a.m. 5.0


Shobit Roy

One should avoid taking medicines as it can really have some dangerous side effects. Always consult a doctor even if the fever is mild.

Oct. 12, 2018, 7:56 p.m. 5.0


Narmada Bharti

It's good to avoid medicine and make yourself sweat really works in fever. I always do this and feel better within an hour.

Oct. 9, 2018, 10:54 p.m. 5.0


Vabita Yadav

I always take nimesulide 100mg tablet during fever, it makes me feel better quickly. It even works in continuous as well as pneumonia fever.

Oct. 5, 2018, 4:39 a.m. 4.5



I often have fever in the evening, does that mean I have some serious problem?

Sept. 24, 2018, 1:46 p.m. 5.0


Gauri Pratap

Very helpful article for the people in need. All the required points are focused in a beautiful way.

Sept. 12, 2018, 11:13 p.m. 5.0


Paula Mateo

You should never ignore a high fever as it can be very fatal. I lost one of my friends as she was having very high fever and she was getting herself treated at home. When she visited doctor, she was diagnosed with cancer but till then it was very hard to recover and she died.

Aug. 9, 2018, 6:59 a.m. 5.0


Sweta Baxi

I have fungal fever, please tell me any good medicine for this!

July 17, 2018, 11:49 a.m. 4.5


Surbhi Jaiswal

If you get a regular fever during pregnancy, promptly in the first trimester, it can cause problems for a developing baby. However, researchers and medical practitioners have not yet found whether a fever during early pregnancy can get you a miscarriage. So you need to be very careful with your f...

Nov. 2, 2017, 2:42 p.m. 5.0


Tamanna Singh

There is one home remedy for viral fever. One can boil 100 gms of carom seeds in 1 litre water and once they are boiled together, the water should be kept aside to cool. Once it is cooled down, strain the water and the patient can have 2 teaspoons of it every half an hour. It really helps in trea...

Nov. 2, 2017, 1:44 p.m. 4.5

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