High Fever & Types Of Fever
When to do test & approach to doctor? Differentiation from covid-19 when to do R.T P.C.R (Covid test)?
A fever can be concerning, but it is usually non-threatening. It simply refers to a temporary increase in your body temperature that helps to overcome or fight infections. This happens when the immune system increases white blood cell production to fight disease causing pathogens and this in turn triggers a rise in body temperature. As this is part of the immune response, a fever commonly develops as a side effect or symptom of common infections like the flu and it indicates that your immune system is working to fight the infection. At times, of course, a fever can also be indicative of something more serious, especially when the fever rises high or is persistent. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are also concerns about fever as a possible symptom of COVID-19 infection. However, there are a few things that you should first understand.
Types Of Fever
Not all fevers are the same and they can be classified on the basis of temperature and duration.
- Low grade fevers – A fever in which body temperature rises to 100.4F
- Moderate fever – a fever in which body temperature rises above 102.2F
- High-grade fever – a fever in which body temperature rises to 104F or higher
- Hyperpyrexia – a fever in which body temperature crosses 106F
In most cases, fevers resolve without any intervention in just a couple of days. However, with more serious infections, high fever can persist for several days or even recur during a period of 2 weeks. A fever that lasts for just a few days is described as acute, while one that persists for between 7 to 14 days is described as sub-acute. Any high fever that lasts over 14 days is regarded as chronic.
When Should You Contact Your Doctor?
While low-grade fevers are no cause for concern and moderate fevers can be treated with OTC medications, a high-grade fever or any rise of temperature beyond 103F shouldn’t be ignored. You should contact your doctor as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Although a mild fever is usually not something you need to worry about, any persistent or recurrent fever can be indicative of an underlying infection or some undiagnosed health condition, therefore warranting medical attention.
Should You Do An RTPCR (COVID-19) Test for Fever?
As you probably know, fever can be indicative of a wide range of health conditions and infections, from something as non-threatening as the common cold to malaria. Every incidence of fever should not be attributed to COVID-19 infection, but this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be cautious. Advisory guidelines from The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) can help determine whether or not you need to do an RTPCR (COVID-19) test for fever.
If your high fever is accompanied by other COVID-19 symptoms like coughing and breathlessness or if you have travelled recently or come in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or anyone who is a high-risk contact, such as health care workers or essential workers who come in contact with patients.
Dr Srinivasa Charry
Consultant Physician – Internal Medicine
Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.