Fever Zika is an elevation in the body temperature, usually due to illness. Having a fever indicates that something out of the ordinary is happening in our body. In an adult, a fever might be uncomfortable but is not a concern unless it soared to 103°F (39.4°C) or higher. For babies and toddlers, a slightly increased temperature implies a serious infection. Fevers often go away within a few days. Some over-the-counter medications can lower a fever, but sometimes it is better left untreated. High fever plays an important role in helping your body fight off some infections.
Fever Zika: Causes
High body temperature occurs when an area in your brain named the hypothalamus (your body’s “thermostat”) changes the set point of your normal temperature upward. Normal body temperature alters throughout the day — it is lower in the morning and higher in the afternoon and evening. Factors such as menstrual cycle or heavy exercise may affect your temperature.
The most common causes of fever are common infections such as gastroenteritis and colds. Other may include blood clots, cancer, vaccines, side effects of drugs, hormone disorders (e.g., hyperthyroidism), illegal drugs (e.g., amphetamines and cocaine), autoimmune diseases, and infections of the ear, throat, lung, skin, bladder, or kidney.
Causes of a fever may include a viral infection, bacterial infection, a malignant tumor, extreme sunburn, heat exhaustion, certain inflammatory conditions (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis), some medications (e.g., antibiotics and drugs used to treat seizures or high blood pressure), and some immunizations (e.g., the diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis or pneumococcal vaccine).
Fever Zika: Symptoms
You have a fever if your temperature rises above the normal average temperature of 98.6°F (37°C). Additional signs and symptoms may include a headache, sweating, shivering, muscle aches, dehydration, general weakness, and loss of appetite. High fevers range from 103°F (39.4°C) to 106°F (41.1°C) may cause confusion, convulsions, dehydration, hallucinations, and irritability. Complications of a fever may involve severe dehydration, hallucinations, and febrile seizure (in children at six months to five years of age).
Fever Zika: Diagnosis
Though a fever is easy to measure, its cause can be hard to determine. Besides a physical exam, the doctor will ask about symptoms, conditions, medications, and whether you have recently traveled to areas with ongoing infections. For example, a malaria infection may have a fever that often recurs. Some areas are hotspots for infections such as Zika virus, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Sometimes it is impossible to identify the cause of a fever. If your temperature is 101°F (38.3°C) or higher for more than three weeks and your physician is not able to find the cause after a comprehensive evaluation, you may contract fever of unknown origin (FUO). In such cases, the cause could be an obvious condition such as a connective tissue disorder, a chronic infection, cancer, or another problem.
Fever Zika: Febrile Seizures
Febrile seizures often involve loss of consciousness and shaking of limbs. Though alarming for parents, a majority of febrile seizures cause no effects. If a seizure occurs, parents should:
- Lay the child on his or her side on the floor.
- Loosen tight clothing.
- Hold the child to prevent injury.
- Remove any sharp items that are near your child.
- Do not place anything in the child’s mouth or try to stop the seizure.
Most seizures go away on their own. Take the child to the hospital as soon as possible to determine the cause of the fever. Call for an emergency if a seizure lasts longer than ten minutes.
Fever Zika: Treatments and drugs
1. Over the counter medications
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB): Use these drugs as directed on the product label or as recommended by the doctor. Avoid taking too much. High doses of acetaminophen may trigger liver or kidney damage, and acute overdoses may be lethal. If your fever remains high after a dose, do not take more medication; go to the hospital instead. For temperatures below 102°F (38.9°C), do not use fever-lowering drugs unless prescribed by the doctor.
Aspirin (for adults only): Never give aspirin to children since it may trigger a rare but possibly fatal disorder called Reye’s syndrome.
2. Prescription medications
An antibiotic may be prescribed, especially the doctor suspects a bacterial infection, such as flu, pneumonia, or strep throat. A few antiviral drugs can treat certain viral infections. Nevertheless, the best treatment for most illnesses caused by viruses is rest and plenty of fluids.
3. Treatment of infants
Infants with a fever, especially those younger than 28 days, need to be admitted to the hospital for testing and proper treatment. Fever in babies could indicate a serious infection that demands intravenous medications and round-the-clock monitoring.
Fever Zika: Home Remedies
Activity can increase your body temperature. You need rest to recover. Dress light clothing, keep the room temperature cool, and use only a sheet or light blanket. Fever can lead to fluid loss and dehydration, so you have to drink water and juices. An oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte, is advisable for a child under one year old. These solutions contain water and salts to replenish fluids and electrolytes. Pedialyte ice pops are also available.
Fever Zika: Safety Tips
Make sure to follow these tips when you taker a nonprescription medicine:
- Carefully read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Do not take more than the advised dose.
- Never take a medicine if you have had an allergy to it in the past.
- Call your doctor before you take any new medicine.
- If you are pregnant, do not take any drug other than acetaminophen unless your pediatrician has told you to.
- Remember to check your temperature every two to four hours to make sure the home treatment is working.
- Anyone younger than age 20 cannot use aspirin.
- Do not give naproxen to children younger than age 12.
Fever Zika: Prevention
- Wash your hands often, particularly before eating, after petting animals, after using the toilet, after around someone who is sick, and during travel on public transportation.
- Carry moist towelettes or hand sanitizer when you do not have soap and water.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes since viruses and bacteria can invade your body and trigger infection.
- Cover your mouth when you a cough and sneeze.
- Fever is contagious. Avoid sharing cups and utensils with other people in your family.
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