What are the signs and symptoms associated with fever?

Well, there is no doubt there that the defining symptom of fever is the abnormal rise in body temperature. In the previous article we learned the definition of fever and its temperature ranges.

You must always remember that what might be normal for one person, might be abnormal for another.

When you’re suffering from fever you must look out for following symptoms, which helps in understanding the underlying cause of fever:

  1. Chills and rigors: Feeling extremely cold accompanied by shivering. In some conditions rigors may occur in absence of chills.
  2. Abnormal sweating
  3. Headache
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Muscular aches
  6. Generalized weakness
  7. Dehydration

In moderate to high grade fever (more than 103°F) fever may be accompanied by symptoms related to nervous system. For example,

  1. Confusion
  2. Hallucinations
  3. Irritation
  4. Seizures

How to measure temperature

There are various types of thermometer available to aid you in taking the temperature like rectal, oral, tympanic (for the ears), and temporal artery (for the forehead) thermometers.

Common methods of taking temperature are oral or axillary. Axillary temperature might not be the most accurate method of measuring body temperature; it’s certainly easiest and most convenient. To take axillary temperature you must position the thermometer in the armpit, and cross the arms. Wait for 4-5 minutes before checking the temperature. Make sure when you report the temperature to a doctor you mention both the accurate temperature and the location of measuring temperature.

In infant rectal temperature might be used to record the temperature.

  • Apply a little petroleum jelly to the thermometer bulb.
  • Position the baby with abdomen facing down
  • Be careful while inserting the thermometer bulb about half to one inch into the rectum of the baby
  • Keep holding the thermometer and the baby for as long as it’s inside. If the baby wriggles the thermometer might slip deeper and cause damage.

Complications of fever

Various complications associated with fever are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Severe dehydration
  • Febrile seizures i.e. seizures induced by high fever in children of 6 months to 5 years of age.