Yogyakarta (Jogja) backpacker's guide

Fever

What is a fever?

Fever refers to an elevation in body temperature. Technically, any body temperature above the normal oral measurement of 98.6 F (37 C) or the normal rectal temperature of 99 F (37.2 C) is considered to be elevated. However, these are averages, and one’s normal body temperature may actually be 1 F (0.6 C) or more above or below the average of 98.6 F. Body temperature can also vary up to 1 F (0.6 C) throughout the day.

Fever is not considered medically significant until body temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Anything above normal but below 100.4 F (38 C) is considered a low-grade fever. Fever serves as one of the body’s natural defenses against bacteria and viruses which cannot live at a higher temperatures. For that reason, low fevers should normally go untreated, unless accompanied by troubling symptoms.

Also, the body’s defense mechanisms seem to work more efficiently at a higher temperature. Fever is just one part of an illness, many times no more important than the presence of other symptoms such as cough, sore throat, sinus congestion, fatigue, joint pains or aches, chills, nausea, etc.

What causes a fever?

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.

These foreign invaders are considered fever-producing substances (called pyrogens), which trigger the body’s immune response. Pyrogens tell the hypothalamus to increase the temperature set point in order to help the body fight off the infection.

Fever is a common symptom of most infections, and thus a risk factor for fever is exposure to infectious agents. In children, immunizations (such as flu shots) or teething in may cause low-grade fever. Autoimmune disorders, medication reactions, seizures, or cancers may also cause fevers.

What are the signs and symptoms of a fever?

A fever can cause someone to feel very uncomfortable. Signs and symptoms of a fever include the following:
  • Temperature greater than 100.4 F (38 C) in adults and children
  • Shivering, shaking, chills
  • Aching muscles and joints or other body aches
  • Headache
  • Intermittent sweats or excessive sweating
  • Rapid heart rate and/or palpitations
  • Skin flushing
  • Feeling faint, dizzy, or lightheaded
  • Weakness
  • With very high temperature (> 104 F/40 C), convulsions, hallucination, or confusion is possible. Seek medical attention.

How is a fever diagnosed?

Along with having the generalized symptoms of a fever, taking one’s temperature with a thermometer can confirm the diagnosis of a fever. A temperature greater than 100.4 F in adults or children is considered a fever. 

What is the treatment for a fever?

Generally, if the fever does not cause discomfort, the fever itself need not be treated. It is not necessary to awaken an adult or child to treat a fever unless instructed to do so by a doctor.

The following fever-reducing medications may be used at home:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) can be used to lower a fever. The recommended pediatric dose can be suggested by the child’s pediatrician. Adults without liver disease or other health problems can take 1,000 mg (two “extra strength” tablets) every six hours or as directed by a physician. The makers of Tylenol state that the maximum recommended dose of acetaminophen per day is 3,000 mg, or six “extra strength” tablets per 24 hours, unless directed by a doctor. Regular strength Tylenol tablets are 325 mg; the recommended dosage for these is two tablets every four to six hours, not to exceed 10 tablets per 24 hours.
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) can also be used to break a fever in patients over 6 months of age. Discuss the best dose with a doctor. For adults, generally 400 mg-600 mg (two to three 200 mg tablets) can be used every six hours.
  • Aspirin should not be used for fever in children or adolescents. Aspirin use in children and adolescents during a viral illness (especially chickenpox and influenza, or flu) has been associated with Reye’s syndrome. Reye’s syndrome is a dangerous illness that causes prolonged vomiting, confusion, and even coma and liver failure.

An individual with a fever should be kept comfortable and not overdressed. Overdressing can cause the temperature to rise further. Tepid water (85 F [30 C]) baths are a home remedy that may help bring down a fever. Never immerse someone in ice water. This is a common misconception. Never sponge a child or an adult with alcohol; the alcohol fumes may be inhaled, causing many problems.

What is the local treatment for a fever?

The following fever-reducing medications may be used at home:

  • Kerokan – scratch the back and front body with metal money/coin and oiled with cajuput oil. To wind get out from the body, they believe that wind makes them get fever.

yogya_backpacker_fever_kerokan

  • Drink water from boiled sirih leaf with water.

yogya_backpacker_fever_sirih_leaf

  • Drink turmeric extract (kunyit parut).

yogya_backpacker_fever_kunir_kunyit_extract

  • Drink traditional or modern jamu like Antangin syrup

Antangin

You have to check to hospital to make sure what your fever caused by. The treatment are different for any case. This treatment just for first aid.

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