Is there a relationship between fever and corona?

When it comes to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, it’s not just a matter of fever. Fever, along with fatigue and a dry cough, is clearly the hallmark of the infection. But what should you do if your temperature rises? How do you know when you need medical help?

Why do we get a fever?

We tend to think of a normal body temperature as a fixed number, but in reality a person’s body temperature can vary throughout the day, says Georgien Nanos, family physician and CEO of Kind Health Group, a telemedicine service. There is no single number that is “normal” for everyone. Recent research has found that the average body temperature has changed over the years. Scientists say it’s now around 36.38 degrees Celsius, not 37 degrees Celsius

A fever is technically defined as a body temperature of 38 ° C or higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is true for both children and adults.

A fever is not necessarily a bad thing. “This indicates that your body is doing what it should do in response to the infection,” says Nanos. In fact, it is a sign that your immune system is doing its job, and it is fighting invaders, such as viruses or bacteria, in an attempt to prevent it from bypassing your body.

But a fever can be alarming. No matter how miserable it may be – with sweating, chills, headaches, and exhaustion – this could indicate the development of a serious illness. An uncontrolled fever may cause seizures or brain damage. So it is important to pay attention to the fever and respond appropriately.

Fever and COVID-19

At this point in the COVID-19 outbreak, scientists have not identified a specific fever pattern associated with this disease. The same applies to the other major symptoms of the disease. “People report a range of symptoms with varying degrees of severity, so there isn’t a single set of signs that can tell us for sure, ‘Yes or no, that’s COVID-19,’ says Assistant Professor Elisa Perkins. ”

To determine who might need to be seen by a healthcare professional or tested for COVID-19, Perkins says that doctors evaluate fever along with other symptoms, a person’s age, health history, and any underlying conditions. Then, based on the capacity of local hospitals and the limited availability of tests and other supplies, public health professionals may advise people with symptoms of COVID-19 to stay in contact with a doctor on the phone rather than going directly to the emergency department.

How to treat a fever if you suspect COVID-19

There is no rule that states that you need to lower a fever with an over-the-counter medication if you feel only mild symptoms and are uncomfortable. You may be able to deal with fatigue through rest, sweating with cold compresses, chills with blankets, and stopping dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids.

There is even evidence behind the old saying that you should let a fever run its course. Animal studies have found that a fever may help the immune system do its job, and lowering a fever with medication may dampen your body’s ability to stave off disease, says Dr. Matthew J. Kluger, a scientist and retired professor of physiology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Pioneering research by Kluger in the 1970s indicates that fever is an adaptive biological response to infection and may enhance the activity of disease-fighting cells. “Treating a fever with medication may make you feel better,” Kluger says, “but my belief is not because it lowers your temperature, because the drug is analgesic and pain-reducing.”

But if the fever reaches or is higher than 39.4 ° C, you should contact a physician. A high fever can lead to a seizure or brain damage.

When to get medical help

If you think the temperature is a cause for concern, in most cases the first step is to contact your healthcare provider. This is because the high temperature by itself may not warrant a personal evaluation at this time, depending on your general condition and risk factors.

“We are telling patients that if you have mild symptoms and no underlying medical conditions, stay home and self-isolate,” Nanos says. “If possible, ask one person to take care of you so that you reduce your exposure to others at home.” After 14 days, the CDC says you can stop home isolation if you have had a fever for 72 hours and have completed at least seven days since the first symptoms appeared.

Go to a hospital or urgent care clinic if you develop any of these emergency warning signs of COVID-19, and they are according to the CDC: difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face, confusion or fainting. new.