What is a low grade fever? Warm skin, achy muscles, and a general lack of well-being? You could have a mild fever. Before you decide how to treat your low-grade fever, you should discover where it came from and what it does to your body.
Your body is a complex and intelligent system that works hard to make you feel good. One way to do this is by keeping your internal temperature at the right level—your body’s internal temperature changes in response to hormonal activity, mental activity and transitions in your environment.
To function correctly, your body needs to be at a normal temperature of 98.6°F (37°C). However, there are times when your body needs to raise its temperature over that optimal range, for instance, to tackle the flu or a cold virus. You might suffer a low-grade fever in those circumstances.
Fevers are frequent and can happen for several causes. They frequently indicate that the body is attempting to defend itself.
Fevers can range in severity and occur for several reasons. Your fever may be classified as low-grade, regular, or high-grade, depending on your temperature. Hence it is crucial to keep an eye on a fever.
What Is a Low-Grade Fever?
Typically, a body temperature between 99 F (37.2 C) and 100.3 F is considered low-grade fever (37.9 C). A person is deemed to have a fever if their temperature is at or above 100.4°F (38°C).
About 98.6 F (37 C) is considered the normal body temperature, while healthy individuals can have modest differences. These minor differences could be caused by several things, like whether the temperature is taken orally, rectally, or in the morning or evening.
This article is an attempt to describe the signs and symptoms of low-grade fever linked to various diseases or other potential causes. Also will provide advice on how to treat a fever and when to contact a healthcare professional.
Signs or Symptoms
Some people with a low-grade fever won’t exhibit any symptoms other than an elevated body temperature in the above range. Others might go through the following:
- Muscle aches.
- Loss of appetite.
- Frequent urination.
- The pale or blue coloration of the lips and nails.
- Changes in consciousness.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Difficulty in walking.
- Neck rigidity.
- Rapid heart beats.
- Warm skin.
- Body ache.
Most low-grade fevers pass in a few days without needing medical care, depending on what’s causing the fever in the first place. Other symptoms, which can include coughs, sore throats, headaches, and other signs, can help figure out what’s causing the fever and how to treat it best.
What Health Issues Can Result in a Low-grade Fever?
Infections often cause low-grade fevers. It can also happen after receiving a vaccination, after teething, as a sign of cancer, or as a symptom of an inflammatory or autoimmune disorder.
Some medicines can also cause a low-grade fever as a side effect.
Causes of Low-Grade Fever Due to Infection
Infection and fever are signs of the body’s fight against the bacterium. In other words, infections with bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites all result in fevers. These typical infections cause a low-grade fever:
- Skin infections.
- Respiratory infections.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Respiratory tract infections.
- Bacterial infection.
Some General Causes
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Drugs like antibiotics and seizure medicines.
- Vaccine reactions.
A rise in body temperature can also be brought on by physical activity and environmental variables, such as wearing heavy clothing or being in a location with a high ambient temperature.
Severe or Life-Threatening Causes
In some cases, a low-grade fever can signify a serious or life-threatening illness, such as
- Acute hepatitis.
- Heat exhaustion.
- Pulmonary embolism.
Should I Treat a Low-Grade Fever?
Most of the time, a low-grade fever will go away. This is especially true for people with a virus but otherwise healthy. As the illness disappears, the fever will go away. At this point, water and rest become beneficial.
The fever itself does not necessarily need to be treated. Layering clothes and blankets are an excellent way to deal with cold and hot weather.
Certain medicines can reduce a fever when it causes discomfort. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can all be used to reduce fever. However, due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome, aspirin should not be given to children under 18.
Call an ambulance if a baby under two months old has a fever.
When Should I Contact a Doctor?
When to see a doctor for a fever depends partly on the patient’s age. The sections below offer more information about asking for assistance.
Infants Younger Than Two Months
It can be risky for a newborn this young to have a fever. If your baby is younger than two months and their temperature goes up, you should go to the doctor right away.
Older Infants and Children
A fever is not a medical emergency in older infants and children. However, call a doctor immediately if a child has a fever or the following:
- Signs of dehydration, like dry skin or dry throat.
- Drowsiness or fussiness.
- Immune system problems.
- Persistent vomiting or diarrheas’.
- Lack of tears during weeping.
- A sunken soft spot.
- Fewer wet diapers than normal.
- Severe headache.
- Sore throat or unusual rash.
- A look of extreme illness.
Another reason to see a doctor immediately is when fever won’t disappear.This is a fever that persists for more than a day in children under the age of two.
A fever that persists for more than 72 hours in older children requires medical assistance. Fever over 104°F (40°C) that frequently occurs in children of all ages requires medical attention.
If a fever lasts more than 48 hours, an adult has to see a doctor. A high temperature that exceeds 104°F (40°C) is another indication that you need to see a doctor. Other serious signs in an adult with a fever include:
- A change in mental status or a sudden change in behaviour, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations, or delusions.
- Shortness of breath.
- A headache.
- A stiff neck.
- Quick breathing.
- A rapid heartbeat.
- A rash.
- A flushed face.
Taking Body Temperature
When you have a fever, you may look red and feel warm, but the only way to know for sure what your temperature is is to use a thermometer.
The most accurate readings are provided by digital thermometers that are put under the tongue or with the tip inserted into the anus (rectal temperature taking is advised for infants and very young children).
You can’t tell if you or someone else has a fever just by touching them. This approach may result in you missing or underestimating your fever. Even when a person has a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit, this occurs in up to 40% of cases (38.9 C).
Pacifier thermometers, smartphone temperature apps, and plastic strips, tympanic thermometers, also known as the forehead or ear thermometers, are safe to use, but you shouldn’t use one to take the temperature of a newborn under three months old or of someone who has an ear infection.
How To Treat a Low-Grade Fever?
Different people have different ideas about how to treat a fever. If you have a low-grade fever and feel uncomfortable, you can do a few things to feel better:
- Rest and drink plenty of fluids.
- If you have a fever with a strong headache, stiff neck, shortness of breath, or any other strange signs or symptoms, call your doctor right once.
- While sleeping, place a cool, moist washcloth on your forehead or the back of your neck.
- You can treat the symptoms of your fever with over-the-counter medicines. Many over-the-counter drugs for the cold and flu treat more than one symptom.
- Determine whether you have any more low-grade fever symptoms so you can pick a medication that will give you the needed relief. Acetaminophen-containing medication aid in lowering fever.
Some of the medications that include Acetaminophen:
- The LiquiCapTM form is also available.
- DayQuil and NyQuil SEVERE: For relief from severe symptoms, try NyQuil SEVERE, which can also help with nasal congestion, or DayQuil SEVERE, which has an expectorant to help loosen mucus and make coughs more productive.
- Flu Therapy Night and Day: Inhale the soothing Vicks Vapors and drink the tasty honey-lemon tea. With Vicks FluTherapy, you can also get relief from cold and flu symptoms, such as fever, in the form of a soothing, medicated hot drink.
Please note: Self medication can be injurious to health. Please consult your doctor before consuming any medication or drugs.
Common viruses like the flu or the common cold can cause low-grade fevers. The most straightforward approach to determining if you have a low-grade fever is to take your temperature. Still, other symptoms and indicators might significantly raise the likelihood that you have.
Taking care of your health by doing things like getting enough rest and fluids can help reduce the severity of a fever or shorten the time it lasts.
For example, your immune system will be stronger if you care for your health. If you decide to take medicine to help relieve your symptoms and bring down a low-grade fever, look for options like DayQuil, NyQuil, and Flu Therapy, which contain acetaminophen, a fever reducer.
A temperature of at least 100.4°F (38°C) rectally or 99.5°F (37.5°C) orally is considered a low-grade fever in infants. A low-grade fever in an adult is often defined as an oral temperature between 100.4°F (38°C) and 104°F (40°C).
Low-grade fevers don’t necessarily indicate serious health issues.
A viral infection is the most typical cause of a low-grade fever in both children and adults. Your body will begin to fight against the virus when the fever subsides. A fever in a baby under two months old is a reason to see a pediatrician immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common queries regarding fevers.
1. Is 99.6°F (37.6ºC) considered a fever?
The usual range for normal body temperature is between 97.5- and 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (36.4 and 37.5 degrees Celsius). Several factors determine whether it’s a sign of a fever or not. For example- where you take the body temperature readings, and your age.
For example, it is normal for a child’s rectal temperature to be 99.6°F (37.6oC). If a youngster is older than four years old and has an oral temperature above 99.6°F (37.6°C), it is considered to be a fever. However, neither reading would suggest a fever in an adult.
Remember that physical activity and the environment can slightly raise the body temperature.
2. Is 99.2°F (37.3ºC) considered a fever?
A normal value for body temperature could be 99.2°F (37.3°C). 36.4-37.5 °C) is the usual range, 97.5-99.5 °F. It largely depends on what is typical for the individual. A fever in a child is indicated by an oral temperature over 99°F (37.2oC).
3. Is a fever under the tongue at 99°F (37°C)?
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that a genuine fever is defined as an oral reading of more than 99°F (37.2oC). This reading, though, does not indicate a fever in an adult. It is within the typical range of 36.4-37.5oC or 97.5-99.5°F.