Aches, pain, fever facts


  • Although a fever could be considered any body temperature above the normal 98.6 F (37 C), medically, a person is not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38.0 C).
  • Most fever is beneficial, causes no problems, and helps the body fight off infections. The main reason for treating a fever is to increase comfort.
  • Fever is the result of an immune response by your body to a foreign invader. These foreign invaders include viruses, bacteria, fungi, drugs or other toxins.
  • Children under 3 months of age with a temperature of 100.4 F (38.0 C) or greater should be seen by a health care professional. They may be quite ill and not show any signs or symptoms besides a fever. Infants less than 6 weeks of age should be seen immediately by their doctor.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can be used to treat a fever. Aspirin should not be used in children or adolescents to control fever.
  • The prognosis for a fever depends on the cause. Most cases of fever are self-limited and resolve with symptomatic treatment.
  • A person who is taking immunosuppressant drugs or who has a history of or diagnosis of cancer, AIDS, or other serious illness, such as heart disease or diabetes, should seek medical care if a fever develops.