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What is a fever?

Our body temperature is influenced by many factors. Each individual has a body temperature between 35.8° and 37.5° Celsius. The ideal body temperature is around 37°C. Up to 38°C, we speak of an increase in temperature. This can be the result of a minor infection or teething in children, for example. From 38°C, we speak of fever in medical terms. Fever is usually a sign of an infection, but it can also occur with various illnesses or after vaccination. Fever is therefore not a disease in itself but rather is mostly a reaction of the body to some kind of aggression.

Fever is defined as "a rise in usual body temperature outside of physiological (normal) variations" .

Normal physiological variations are present

  • During the day (in the morning the body temperature is lower)

  • According to the hormonal cycle

  • Depending on the activities: significant effort = + 2 to 3 degrees

  • Etc.

Fever is not a disease

Fever is not a disease but is a symptom of an underlying event.

It can be caused by several factors or diseases: an infection, following tissue destruction (cancer, myocardial infarction, rheumatic disease, etc.).


Fever can have a beneficial role

  • by increasing the inflammatory response

  • and by limiting the proliferation of infectious germs.


To understand fever, you have to have a view of what is called THE THERMOREGULATION of the body.

Thermoregulation in humans is the set of mechanisms that allows the body to maintain the desired temperature .

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