About Fever

While growing up, I was the recipient of a weird judgment- one that made me worthy of malaria treatments. The sickening part of it all was the judge needed me to meet just a condition- Fever.

I somewhat feel like I wasn’t the only one who had to go through these series of judgments. It’s quite easy to understand why we get diagnosed with malaria faster than a new baby joins our world! (of that, I may have exaggerated.) After all, we did grow up in a location where malaria infection is rampant.

However, here is my question. Is it always malaria when we’ve got a fever? Anyway, let’s start with understanding what this fever is.

Well, fever defines the condition of abnormally high body temperature. You know so well that body temperature explains how cold or hot your body is. In other words, when Paul puts his hand to his neck, and he believes he feels warmer than every other day, it’s safe to conclude he’s got a fever.

But you know what? Paul is scared to announce his fever to his mum because he knows he will get to take the needle for treating malaria. Well, are we not all scared of needles?

Still, while fever can indicate malaria, it can point out several other infections and pathological conditions. It is a more common occurrence when you come down with a cold! We’ve still got the Typhoid Fever to consider!

Even more amusing is the fact that you can observe fever in physiological states such as during/after exercises, ovulation, when a kid grows a new tooth or from just standing in the sun for a long time.

Now, fever in itself won’t always pose any real threat to one’s health- as long as it doesn’t go so high to cause convulsions, and ultimately, death. But I believe we all understand the vivid picture that fever is an indication of another condition. 

The conclusion here is not to judge every fever state as a result of malaria because it isn’t the only condition that can raise your temperature.

So, what if the next time you can feel your temperature rising, you take an inventory of yourself and talk to a doctor? That way, you could get the right diagnosis and a safe prescription. 

Moreover, I’ve noticed people find it shocking when they hear that fever is, more or less, a defense mechanism against infections. 

When your body gets invaded by pathogens, one of the substances that get released is pyrogen. It comes from the body’s immune system or the invaders themselves. These pyrogens get carried to the brain in the blood, affecting the hypothalamus regulation of body temperature. 

A simple explanation of the effect of pyrogens will be to tell you that the brain gets a false sensation of cold. Thus, it sets into motion body processes that will raise your body temperature. However, the body was never cold, the temperature rise only increases the body temperature above normal levels. 

However, this above-normal temperature should help prevent the growth of invaders, or may even kill some. There is also the belief that this high temperature enhances the ability of the body’s immune system.

So, is fever a state of emergency? Well, it doesn’t always signify such a state. Still, put your focus on determining the underlying cause and yeah, that cause isn’t always going to be malaria.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

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