Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does a fever mean that you have an infection?"
I have had a fever for two days but it doesn't seem like anything is wrong with me at all. Does having a fever mean that you have an infection? Could a fever just pass after a couple of days with no other problems?
A fever occurs when the body temperature is elevated to 100.4 degree F or higher. However, the degree of a fever does not necessarily indicate how sick a person is. It happens when something is wrong, usually an infection within the body, and the hypothalamus of the brain increases the body's temperature to fight against infections. (It is also normal for a fever of up to 100.4 degree F to occur after strenuous exercise or heat exhaustion). That said, a fever is an important part of your body's defense against infection and inflammation. Most bacteria and viruses thrive best at the normal body temperature of 98.6 degree F. When they invade your body, causing infections, your body's defense mechanism is to raise its normal temperature in an attempt to kill off the bacteria and viruses. In short, the fever is fighting the battle that might be going on in your body for you, not against. Although it is rarely harmful, brain damage from a fever may occur if it is over 107.6 degree F so prompt medical care is essential in this emergency situation. Fever is also a symptom caused by a variety of illnesses that it is good idea to schedule a visit with a primary care physician or an infectious disease specialist to rule out any serious condition.
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