Fevers due to Infectious Causes
A fever is an increase in body temperature, usually around 98.6 °F (37 °C), although normal temperatures can vary from person to person. It is important to understand that a fever itself is not an illness but rather a response by the body to fight off infections or sickness.
The majority of fevers are caused by various infections. When an infection occurs, your body raises its temperature to help destroy the virus or bacteria responsible. Bacteria and viruses thrive at normal body temperatures, but they struggle to survive when the body temperature is elevated. Additionally, a fever stimulates the immune system, aiding in the body’s defense against infections.
Infectious Causes of Fever
Most infectious diseases can lead to fever, with some common causes being:
- Respiratory infections affecting the upper and lower respiratory systems.
- Digestive tract infections.
- Infections of the urinary tract.
- Skin infections.
- Viral Infections.
- Bacterial Infections.
- Fungal Infections.
Who is most susceptible to developing a fever from an infection?
Infectious diseases can affect anyone, but certain individuals may be more susceptible. People with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing cancer treatment, individuals with HIV, or those on specific medications, are at higher risk. Infants, expectant mothers, and people over 60 years of age are also more vulnerable. Lack of vaccination against common infectious diseases and exposure to mosquitoes carrying diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus can increase the risk as well.
Some common symptoms associated with fever include:
- Chills and shivering
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- General weakness
While detecting a fever is straightforward using a thermometer, determining the underlying cause can be challenging. In addition to a physical examination, your doctor will inquire about your medical history, medications, and recent travel to infected areas.
Diagnostic methods may include:
- Swabbing the nose or throat.
- Collecting samples of blood, urine, feces, or saliva.
- Obtaining a biopsy or small tissue sample for analysis.
- Performing imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to assess affected body parts.
How are fever due to infectious causes treated?
The infection’s cause will affect the course of treatment. Your doctor may occasionally advise observing your symptoms rather than taking medicine.
- Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial illnesses. Which bacterium is responsible for the infection will determine the best medication.
- Most viral infections may be treated with over-the-counter drugs to treat your symptoms until you feel better. Antiretroviral treatment is a particular drug used to treat certain viral illnesses like HIV.
- Antifungal medications are effective against fungi.
- Antiparasitic medications can be used to treat parasites.
- Prion conditions have no known cures.
Why choose Giggles?
Giggles Hospital is the premier healthcare destination for both mothers and children. Our team of skilled physicians, surgeons, and specialists not only provide top-quality diagnosis and care but also prioritize the mental and emotional well-being of our patients. By choosing Giggles Hospital, you can be assured that you will receive the finest care and commitment at one of the most advanced medical institutions in the country.