Frequently Asked Questions about Fever

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Will I be prescribed antibiotics to treat the fever?

The doctor will not always prescribe antibiotics for patients with fever. After the medical assessment the doctor will generally decide if you need antibiotic therapy based on whether the infection is caused by a bacteria or virus. When it is a virus, your doctor will only prescribe symptomatic treatment.

If I have fever does it mean I have an infectious disease?

The fact that you have fever does not necessarily mean you have an infectious disease. However, many viral infections are spread from one person to another by means of drops of saliva and nasal secretions that are expelled from the mouth when coughing or sneezing (flu, measles, chickenpox, etc.). Therefore, in such cases, you should pay special attention to hand hygiene to prevent transmitting the infection to other people you live with.

I have visited a tropical country and I have fever; do I have malaria?

If you present fever after travelling to a tropical region (Africa, Southeast Asia, South America), then you should visit a hospital emergency department in order to rule out the initial possibility that you may have malaria (an infection caused by a parasite called Plasmodium spp), even if you used a prophylactic treatment before and during the trip.

If I have fever do I always have an infection?

The most common cause of fever is an infection. Nevertheless, there are other less frequent causes. Some reactions to medicines, allergic reactions, endocrine disorders, e.g., hyperthyroidism, and untreated tumour diseases can produce a non-infectious fever.

In these instances, the doctor will indicate the most appropriate treatment for each case.

What is hyperthermia?

Hyperthermia, which is also known as heatstroke, differs from fever. It occurs after being exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods (heat sources such as ovens, intense physical exertion, exposure to high ambient temperatures, etc.). Patients with heatstroke should visit the hospital emergency department to receive a series of specific therapeutic measures.

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Substantiated information by:

Mar Ortega

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018

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