Despite what many may think, fevers are not an illness on their own. In general, a fever is a symptom of something else. When a fever diverts your attention from a larger medical issue, it can be difficult to know if you should seek treatment at an urgent care for that issue. Know these facts about fevers and you will be able to tell when you need medical attention.
What Is A Fever?
A fever is your body’s way of telling you that there is something wrong. Despite the discomfort and feeling of general unwellness that accompanies a fever, studies have shown that they are useful tools in fighting off illnesses and disease. As your immune system attempts to fight off bacteria or a virus, your core body temperature rises from the average 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. You then feel the effects in the form of hot flashes, chills, and sweating.
What Exactly Can Cause A Fever?
There are a wide variety of possible causes for a fever. While urgent care centers can treat many of these root causes, your physicians may recommend that you go to the emergency room for more serious issues:
- Common cold or influenza
- Drug side effects
- Certain vaccines
- An infection of the ear, lung, kidney, throat, bladder, or skin
- Blood clots
- Inflammation issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease
When Should You See A Doctor For A Fever?
During 2016, fevers were among the top five medical diagnoses given in urgent care centers along with acute upper respiratory infections, acute sinusitis, acute pharyngitis, and cough. Despite the frequency of fever diagnosis, most adults should not be too concerned about a fever unless it goes above 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, if you have a fever of any temperature that lasts longer than three days you should seek medical attention. Additional symptoms such as skin rashes, difficulty breathing, severe headache, severe throat swelling, confusion, and persistent vomiting also indicate that you should see a medical professional.
Young children have much more difficulty regulating their body temperature, so you should take them to an urgent care center before their temperature reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Infants three months old or younger should see a doctor if they have a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Children between three and 12 months old with an oral temperature of 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit or higher should also see a doctor as soon as possible.
Luckily, thermometers make it easy for anyone to tell if they or a loved one has a fever. After you take your or your child’s temperature, be sure to keep monitoring it for concerning rises. If the fever doesn’t break on its own, come to Care Station Medical Group for medical care that you can trust.