Everybody gets sick once in a while. Some illnesses bring with them high fevers to fight off potential infections. It’s a common side effect of illness and usually is not a cause for alarm. Low-grade fevers come and go without being a big deal, and after the fever passes, there are normally no lasting side effects. However, in some cases, fevers that linger can be dangerous, especially in adults. Therefore, it is important to know when medical help may be needed.

The Details Surrounding A Fever

It’s normal for an adult’s temperature to vary between 97 degrees and 99 degrees at any given time. A fever occurs when a person’s body temperature rises above 100.3 degrees. Though fevers typically do not last for more than a couple of days under normal circumstances, fevers can last as long as two weeks, or fluctuate the body temperature between normal and high over and over again. If your fever has persisted for more than three days, even if your temperature is only slightly elevated, you should contact a medical professional.

Fever Symptom Variations

Fevers can present several symptoms and knowing what to look for is a great way to be able to tell whether your fever has become serious.



Normal Fever Symptoms

Serious Fever Symptoms


Severe headache


Light sensitivity


Pain/stiffness in neck

Loss of appetite


Muscle pain




It’s also worth seeking medical assistance if during your fever you experience painful urination, or have dark, foul-smelling urine.


Causes of Fevers

Fevers come about for a variety of reasons, and the underlying cause is not always easy to determine. The most common cause of fevers is viral infections like the flu, or sometimes a severe cold. Other times, you might develop a serious viral or fungal infection that leads to a high fever. Sometimes heat exhaustion or serious sunburns are the culprits behind persistent fevers. Food poisoning, bouts of inflammation due to disease (like arthritis), a blood clot, or a tumor somewhere in the body have also been known to cause fevers.


Knowing the cause and paying attention to the development of your fever is a good way to determine the seriousness of the underlying affliction. Especially high or long-lasting fevers should always be examined by a medical professional, as fevers can be damaging if left untreated.

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