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Freebase Commons Common /common

  • Fever is one of the most common medical signs and is characterized by an elevation of body temperature above the normal range of 36.5–37.5 °C due to an increase in the temperature regulatory set-point. This increase in set-point triggers increased muscle tone and chills. As a person's temperature increases, there is, in general, a feeling of cold despite an increase in body temperature. Once body temperature has increased to the new set-point temperature, there is a feeling of warmth. A rapid decrease in temperature may be accompanied by sweating and feeling hot. A fever can be caused by many medical conditions which range from benign to potentially serious. Some studies suggest that fever is useful as a defense mechanism as the body's immune response can be strengthened at higher temperatures; however, there are arguments for and against the usefulness of fever, and the issue is controversial. With the exception of very high temperatures, treatment to reduce fever is often not necessary; however, antipyretic medications can be effective at lowering the temperature, which may improve the affected person's comfort.

Freebase Commons Medicine /medicine

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