A fever is when your body temperature is above the normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (°F). It’s the body’s typical immune reaction to infections and other medical conditions. High fever, however, could be an indication of more serious health concerns.
For adults, high fever is anything over 103 °F, while temperatures over 104 °F are considered high fever in children. High fever in babies can be a sign of a serious infection, and is marked by a rectal temperature reading of 100.4 °F or above.
If you or your loved ones are experiencing severe symptoms of high fever in Northern California, call your doctor or seek immediate medical attention at a Dignity Health North State emergency room. We offer personal care with humankindness along with our expert emergency services. You can use InQuicker, our online waiting service, to select an estimated arrival time to your nearest emergency room.
If you don’t have a primary care doctor, find one online by using our online tool.
Recognizing Symptoms of High Fever
Typical symptoms of high fever include chills, body aches, weakness, fatigue, sweats, and loss of appetite. If your high fever does not break after 48 hours, call your doctor.
High fever can lead to more serious symptoms. Seek medical assistance right away if you experience:
- Rapid pulse or heart rate
- Severe headaches, stiff neck, or abdominal pain
- Purplish-red, dotted rash
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual drowsiness or lethargy
You should also see your doctor for high fever if you have a chronic medical condition or recently traveled outside of the country.
Know the Causes of High Fever
The usual cause of high fever is a bacterial or viral infection, such as influenza, pneumonia, meningitis, encephalitis, kidney infection, or appendicitis. Additional causes include cancer, reaction to certain medications, and autoimmune diseases — such as, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
How to Treat High Fever
The best treatment for you depends on the cause of your high fever and your comfort. Medication can bring down the fever and make you feel better. Common fever-reducing drugs include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
Your Dignity Health North State doctor may recommend additional treatments for an underlying infection.
Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. Eat foods that appeal to you and get plenty of rest so your body can fight the infection. Dress in layers so you can adjust your comfort with chills and sweats.
We want to make staying healthy as easy as possible by giving you online access to your important medical and treatment information. Learn about the Dignity Health Online Patient Center.
Dignity Health North State is here to help you through uncomfortable conditions like high fever, in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.