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What Fever May Signal

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare cover, says treat fevers in babies before it is too late.


Fever is a natural response to infection. A fever is usually a sign that your body is working extra hard to fight infection. Body temperatures are different for everyone. But they lie within the range of 36°C to 37°C. A temperature of 38°C or higher is considered a fever.


Often, a fever does not signal an alarm. But it is best to contact your nearest healthcare provider if the following happens:

  • If the fever does not subside within a few days
  • If the fever does not respond to over-the-counter medication

What are the Indications of a Fever?

The principal signs of a fever are:

  • Temperatures above 38°C
  • Chills, shivering and trembling
  • Headaches and body aches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Reddened complexion or warm skin


Learn More: When to Worry About Your Baby’s Temperature

Why Does a Fever Occur?

Fever has many causes and can be a sign of any disease. Among the most prevalent are:


“Do not assume something is wrong if you have a higher-than-normal body temperature. Look for other signs of sickness. Body temperature fluctuates throughout the day,” says Murray Hewlett, Affinity Health CEO.


Body temperature can change in response to any of the following human processes:

  • Stress
  • Excitement
  • Heavy clothing
  • Food
  • Specific drugs
  • Menstruation
  • Exercise


Additionally, children have a somewhat higher average body temperature than adults.

How to Measure Body Temperature

The best ways to measure body temperature is to insert a thermometer:

Can You Treat a Fever at Home?

If your temperature is modest (less than 38°C), you do not need medical care. Ensure that you consume a lot of fluids (but no alcohol) and get a lot of rest.


There are several effective strategies to bring down a fever to a higher degree. Medications like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are the most prevalent treatment option.


If a youngster under 17 has a fever, DO NOT provide aspirin. Aspirin may be fatal for children. A lukewarm bath may also assist in lowering the temperature.


When does a fever warrant concern? Immediately contact a physician if you experience any of the following:

  • A high temperature accompanied by neck stiffness, disorientation, or irritation
  • A fever that persists above 39.5°C for over two hours following home treatment
  • A fever that lasts for more than two days
  • A rash
  • Photophobia (irritated by light)
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures


If your child is running a high fever and is under two years old, it is best to get them checked by a doctor. Remember! Not all fever medicine is safe for babies. Medication can temporarily bring a temperature down. But it will not treat the underlying cause.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is the leading provider of affordable medical insurance in South Africa. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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