Fever is a higher-than-normal body temperature and is a symptom of a wide variety of diseases and ailments. Possible causes of a fever include a viral or bacterial infection; heat exhaustion; certain inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis; certain medications; and some vaccines, for example, the DTaP or pneumococcal vaccine.
Normal body temperature for most people is 98.6 F and low-grade fevers range from between 100-101 F. High fevers are when the body temperature rises to between 103-104 F, while dangerous levels are categorized as over 104 F. Fever is more dangerous in infants and children.
A fever rarely occurs without other symptoms, which can help to identify the underlying cause of the high temperature. Signs of fever include feeling hot, chills, sweating, aching muscles, appetite loss, irritability, dehydration, and weakness.
Treatment of a fever involves lowering the body temperature, resting and staying hydrated. Among the drug classes commonly used to reduce fever are nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs/NSAIDs and medicine containing acetaminophen, such as analgesics with and without antipyretic activity.