ZocdocAnswersIf you have a fever of 99.8, are you contagious?

Question

If you have a fever of 99.8, are you contagious?

cough, drainage, tired, achy

Answer

First, I should tell you what doctors consider to be a fever and what they considered to be just a slightly elevated temperature. Unless you are on a medication that inhibits the immune system such as a steroid, then a fever should be considered a temperature over 100.4°F. So in your case, while your temperature is elevated, most doctors would not consider you to have a fever. Your other symptoms of cough, nasal drainage, fatigue, and generalized aching certainly sounds like a viral infection of some type, so it is important to speak with your doctor. This time of year, I would be very concerned that you may have influenza. If you did not get your flu shot this year this is even more likely. If you just developed these symptoms and you present your doctor within five days of the start of the symptoms, then you might be eligible to start a medication called Tamiflu. This is a medication that can help reduce the length of time that you are sick if this is the case. If your flu test comes back negative, or if your doctor does not think that's what it is, then you may just have a standard viral upper respiratory tract action that will get better with time. In either case, the general answer to your question is yes, you would be contagious if you have the symptoms.

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