Pyrexia, also known as fever, is a medical condition characterized by an elevated body temperature. A fever is generally considered to be a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher. Fever can be caused by a variety of factors, including infections, inflammation, and certain medications. While a fever can be a symptom of a serious illness, it is also a normal response of the body to fight off infections.
Have you ever wondered how many types of fever exist and what their names are?
In this article, let’s see the different types of fever with examples, causes, symptoms, and remedies providing a better understanding of this common ailment.
Types of Pyrexia
Pyrexia is broadly classified based on its duration and temperature.
Classification of fevers based on duration
Acute fever: This type of fever lasts for less than three weeks and is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Examples include the common cold, flu, and strep throat.
Subacute fever: This type of fever lasts between three and six weeks and is often caused by a chronic infection such as tuberculosis or a parasitic infection.
Chronic fever: This type of fever lasts for more than six weeks and is usually caused by a chronic condition such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, or chronic infections.
Classification of fevers based on temperature
Low-grade fever: A fever with a temperature between 99.5°F and 100.9°F (37.5°C and 38.3°C) is considered a low-grade fever.
Moderate fever: A fever with a temperature between 101°F and 102.9°F (38.3°C and 39.4°C) is considered a moderate fever.
High fever: A fever with a temperature above 103°F (39.4°C) is considered a high fever.
Hyperpyrexia: A fever with a temperature above 106°F (41.1°C) is considered hyperpyrexia and is a medical emergency.
Symptoms of fever
The most common symptom of a fever is an increase in body temperature above the normal range of 98.6°F (37°C).
Other symptoms include:
Chills and shivering
Muscle aches and pain
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Confusion and disorientation
Causes of Pyrexia
Most commonly, it is caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Other causes of fever include certain medications, immune system disorders, cancer, and even extreme stress. It’s important to determine the cause of the fever so that the proper treatment can be administered.
Home remedies to treat fever
Rest: Getting enough rest is important when you have a fever, as it helps your body to fight off the infection or illness causing the fever.
Hydration: Drinking plenty of water, juice, or other fluids helps your body stay hydrated and to prevent dehydration.
Over-the-counter medication: Antipyretic medications can be used to reduce fever and analgesics relieve other symptoms such as headache and muscle aches.
Cold compresses: Placing cold compresses on your forehead or other areas of your body can help to reduce fever and cool your body down.
Lukewarm bath: Taking a lukewarm bath can also help to reduce fever and make you feel more comfortable.
Ginger or cinnamon tea: Drinking ginger or cinnamon tea can help to reduce fever and relieve symptoms such as headache and nausea.
Using a humidifier: Helps to add moisture and ease breathing.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate the body and make fever symptoms worse.
Avoid heavy clothes and blankets: Heavy clothes and blankets can make you feel hot and uncomfortable during a fever.
Monitoring temperature regularly: Keep monitoring the body temperature by using a thermometer.
Please note that these remedies are not a substitute for medical treatment, and if the fever persists or is accompanied by other severe symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.
1)How high can a fever get?
Fevers can range in severity, with temperatures typically ranging between 100.4°F and 104°F (38°C and 40°C). Some fevers can reach temperatures above 106°F (41.1°C) and are considered hyperpyrexia, which is a medical emergency.
2)How long does a fever last?
The duration of a fever can vary depending on the underlying cause. Most fevers last between 2 and 7 days. However, some fevers can last longer or recur in a pattern known as relapsing fever.
3)When should I see a doctor for a fever?
If you have a fever that lasts for more than a few days, is accompanied by severe symptoms (such as difficulty breathing or chest pain), or if you have other symptoms that concern you, it is important to see a doctor. Additionally, if your fever is very high (above 104°F or 40°C), it is also important to seek medical attention.
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About the Author
Dr. S. Goel
Dr. S. Goel is a renowned Internal Medicine Specialist currently practicing at Ayu Health Hospital, Bangalore. He is a Specialist in Internal Medicine, Diabetes HTN, Paediatric Care, and Family Medicine.