What is it?
Fever is a temperature above 37°C
Symptoms: Flushed appearance, headache, body aching all over, sweating, symptoms related to particular illness e.g. cough, abdominal pain, sore throat, runny nose, painful joints rash etc.
Causes: Mostly infection, sometimes heatstroke, rarely poisoning
Treatment in the home: Remove excess clothing, open windows, switch on an electric fan, and sponge the patient with tepid water, give an aspirin or paracetamol in recommended doses. Do not give aspirin to children under twelve years of age.
Possible complications: Fever fits in children
When to consult a doctor: Immediately when temperature approaches 39°C, if there is a high temperature and a history of fever convulsions. When the temperature is 38, 5°C or higher for a prolonged period of time. When fever is resistant to fever reducing drugs. If a child under two years of age has fever.
What the doctor may do: Identify the reason for the fever and start treatment. If the cause of the fever is not apparent, the patient may be admitted to hospital. In hospital, investigative medical tests will be done to establish the cause of the fever.