ZocdocAnswersI've had a fever for 5 days started with a headache. What could it be?

Question

I've had a fever for 5 days started with a headache. What could it be?

Iv had a fever for 5 days started with a headache today have slit cold symptoms but I do not ache feel fine. What could be causeing the fever?

Answer

Fever can have many causes, some of which are benign and others more serious, therefore I recommend that you see your doctor for a formal evaluation of your symptoms. Your doctor may provide you with the appropriate testing and treatment if necessary. Generally, fever is representative of a normal response to systemic inflammation, which is often the result of an infection. The infection can be anywhere in the body, and common sites that are evaluated in a fever workup include the urine for a urinary tract infection, the blood for bacteremia (bacteria in the blood), imaging of the chest for pneumonia, and in certain cases when indicated, sampling of the cerebrospinal fluid for infection. Associated symptoms may lead to the source of the infection. For example, cough may suggest respiratory tract infection, whereas pain with urination might indicate a urinary tract infections. Fevers are often reported subjectively, that is the patient has a sensation of having a fever, though medically we rely on objective data from a thermometer to define a fever as a temperature greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have been having either subjective or measured fevers for the last 5 days it is important that you see your doctor to rule out dangerous causes such as infection. Viruses can also induce fever, such as the flu or other respiratory tract infections, which typically resolve with symptomatic treatment. Finally, in rare instances, blood abnormalities and malignancy can also cause fever. Again, please see your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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