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First Aid

Fever in Adult

  1. Take Temperature

  • Temperature can be taken orally, rectally, or under the armpit.
  • A person is typically considered feverish if oral temperature is above 100 F (37.8 C) or rectal temperature is above 99.5 F (37.5 C). Temperatures measured under the armpit are not considered as accurate and can be as much as 1 degree F lower than an oral measurement.
  • A temperature above normal but below 100.4 F (38 C) is sometimes considered a low-grade or mild fever. It may mean that the body is responding to an infection.

 

  1. Treat Fever, if Necessary

No treatment is necessary for a mild fever unless the person is uncomfortable. If the fever is 100 F or higher:

  • Give an over-the-counter medicine such as paracetamol or ibuprofen as directed on the label. Check with your doctor first if you have any medical conditions or take other medicines. Warning:Do NOT give aspirin to anyone age 18 or younger unless directed to do so by a doctor.
  • Bathing or sponging in lukewarm water may bring the temperature down. Do not use cold water or alcohol.
  • Have the person wear light clothing and use a light cover or sheet — overdressing can make body temperature go up. If the person gets chills, use an extra blanket until they go away.

 

  1. Give Liquids

  • Have the person drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

 

  1. When to Contact a Doctor

Seek medical help immediately if the person has:

  • A history of serious illness such as AIDS, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, or if the person is taking immunosuppressant drugs
  • A high fever that doesn’t respond to fever-reducing medicine
  • Been exposed to extremely hot weather and feels hot but is not sweating
  • A stiff neck, is confused, or has trouble staying awake
  • Severe pain in the lower abdomen
  • Severe stomach pain, vomits repeatedly, or has severe diarrhea
  • Skin rashes, blisters, or a red streak on an arm or leg
  • A severe sore throat, swelling of the throat, or a persistent earache
  • Pain with urination, back pain, or shaking chills
  • A severe cough, coughs up blood, or has trouble breathing
  1. Follow Up

Contact a doctor if the high body temperature lasts for more than 3 days or gets worse.

 

 

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