ZocdocAnswersHow long is a fever supposed to last?

Question

How long is a fever supposed to last?

I've had a fever for three days. Is it normal if you are sick for a fever to last this long? I don't think its a big deal but I've never had one last this long and I'm trying to figure out what is going on.

Answer

I would recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor for a quick evaluation. Although you are right that many times a fever is not necessarily a serious problem, since it has been going on now for three days, it would be worth while making certain. A fever is part of the body's natural response to an infection. A low grade fever is common with most viral infections, like the flu or the common cold. However, a fever may also be a sign of a more serious illness, such as a bacteria infection like a pneumonia. In adults in particular, it is not common for the fever from a common viral infection to last more than a day or two, which is why making sure you do not have a worse infection settling in is important. Your doctor can perform a thorough examination, looking for evidence of a worse infection. If they find anything concerning, they may want additional tests, such a blood or urine tests or an x-ray of the lungs. Based on these studies, they will be able to recommend a treatment, if one is necessary. I hope you are feeling better soon!

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