University Health Service (UHS)
Health Promotion Office
A fever helps fight infection by creating an environment that is less conducive to the growth of bacterial and viral organisms. Chemicals released into the bloodstream signal your body's temperature regulators to increase your body temperature. Muscles shiver to generate heat. Normal body temperature is thought to range from 97° to 100° F.
There are many factors that can increase your temperature besides illness, such as hormones, hot weather, and exercise.
If you have ruled out factors other than illness that can cause a fever, it is then important to determine if you are dehydrated or if your fever is dangerously high. Since a fever is one of your body's natural healing mechanisms, you may not want to reduce it unless you are uncomfortable or it is too high.
Self Care for a Fever
- Drink 8 oz. of fruit juice, water, soup, or other replenishing liquids every few hours to replace fluids lost through "invisible" perspiration.
- Take a shower with lukewarm water. This will increase evaporation and help the body to naturally cool itself. Place a cool wash cloth over forehead and/or behind neck.
- Even if you feel cold, do not bundle up in heavy clothes or blankets. It conserves heat and inhibits the body's ability to decrease its temperature.
- Take ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed on the bottle.
- Watch for signs of dehydration. Early symptoms include dry mouth, sticky saliva, and reduced urine output with dark yellow color.
Seek Medical Care If...
- The fever is 101°F or higher and/or persists.
- You feel dehydrated.
- The fever appears after recently starting a new medication.
- The fever lasts more than three days.
- The fever is accompanied by a rash, severe headache and stiff neck, or marked irritability or confusion.
- The fever is accompanied by a cough with green or brown sputum or shortness of breath.
- The fever is accompanied by severe back pain, abdominal pain, or painful urination.
To Schedule an Appointment
Call UHS at 275-2662 to schedule an appointment at the University Health Service.
* Students coming to the UHS Eastman Office do not need an appointment to see the registered nurse.
Reducing Your Chances of Catching A Cold or the Flu
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Wash your hands each time you touch your face.
- Wash your hands each time you touch your face.
- Discard your tissue after using it once.
- Avoid sharing towels, utensils, and cups.
- Avoid kissing.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep.
- Keep your stress level down.