What You Need to Know About the Fever and Chills Connection

a child with fever

Got a burning fever and chills? Don’t fret; it’s your body’s natural way of fighting off whatever infection’s got feeling under the weather. In fact, bacteria and viruses don’t reproduce well when the body’s temperature is higher than 98.6oF, so the immune system responds to infection by raising the temperature of the body to hinder the microbes’ ability to multiply, explains an urgent care specialist at Southern Rapid Care, a top walk-in clinic in Gulf Shores.

How Fever and Chills Help Your Body

A rise in your body’s temperature could help stop the ability of bacteria and viruses to reproduce. Once your brain raises your body’s temperature, your body would attempt to meet the very same temperature, so you’ll feel since technically, you’re colder than the new temperature your brain has set. Your body would then try to produce enough heat to fight the cold by relaxing and contracting your muscles, which in turn would make you shiver, hence, chills.

The duration of a fever could differ greatly depending on what caused it. Possible causes include the flu, colds, sinus infections, ear infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, bronchitis, appendicitis, meningitis, gastroenteritis, and mononucleosis. Autoimmune disorders such as a Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis could also cause fever, as well as certain drugs, blood clots, and cancer.

A fever usually lasts a day or two if the cause is a mild viral infection, but could last for several weeks or months if a systemic infection causes it. What you need to do is monitor your symptoms to figure out what’s causing your fever.

When to Seek Treatment

The proper treatment for fever with chills would depend on what’s causing it. Consult your doctor if:

  • You have a serious health problem and suddenly develop fever.
  • Aside from fever, you also have more serious symptoms including breathing difficulties, headache, neck stiffness, swollen joints, a rash, extreme fatigue, or abdominal pain.
  • You have a high fever that persists longer than three days.

You need to go to an urgent care clinic (if at all possible) or call 911 if your fever and chills have accompanying symptoms that are worrying. These symptoms include extreme confusion and difficulty being awakened, a seizure, inability to move an arm or leg, or severe stiff neck, headache, and breathing difficulties.