High Fevers Add Up to Danger for Your Health
98.6° F. The number is instantly recognizable as being the average body temperature for all adults. It’s an average number, in that body temperature varies slightly from person to person. It also fluctuates slightly during the course of a day and can be affected by such activities as eating or exercising.
A fever is a sign that something is wrong inside your body. The infection has set in and body temperature goes up in an attempt to fight it. For an adult, a fever may be uncomfortable, but usually isn't a cause for concern unless it reaches 103° F or higher. A very high fever can be potentially life-threatening if not treated.
Common causes of a fever include infections (such as the flu, pneumonia, and COVID), tetanus shots, some inflammatory diseases, blood clots, and food poisoning. If you have a fever over 103°F, call your doctor, particularly if the fever is accompanied by any of these symptoms:
loss of consciousness
severe pain anywhere in the body
swelling or inflammation of any part of the body
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