When to See a Doctor for a Fever

Many people are confused about when they need to see a doctor for a fever. Often, a fever is nothing to worry about. A 24-hour stomach bug can cause a fever. Even a bad cold can cause a fever. Obviously you don’t need to see your doctor for such matters. But when do you need to see your doctor? Here’s what you need to know.

Infants and Children

Infants and children cannot handle the same high temperatures that most adults can pull through. Infants should see a doctor if they have a fever over 100.1 for more than 24 hours. Children over two should see a doctor when their temperature reaches over 101 for more than 24 hours. If your child has a fever that will not go down with Tylenol or ibuprofen, you should take them to the doctor.

Adults

Adults can run much higher temperatures safely. It is normal for an adult to run a fever of up to 103 without serious illness, especially if they have the flu. However, if your fever lasts for more than a day or two, and if you have other severe symptoms such as a strong cough, vomiting, or trouble breathing, you should see your doctor right away.

Note About COVID-19

The fevers that come with COVID-19 are not always high. If you have a fever as well as a cough, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, or other symptoms, you should contact your doctor for instructions. They may direct you to get tested, or if tests are unavailable they may direct you to self-quarantine.

If you ever have questions about whether or not you should be seen for a fever, we are happy to take your call and determine if you need to come into our practice. Call us anytime to discover if your fever needs to be addressed by a doctor.

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