Everyone gets a fever sometimes, but at what point does an elevated temperature warrant medical attention?
A. It's true that fevers are incredibly common, and COVID-19 certainly brought its share of thermometer-raising days to those infected. As with COVID, fever — defined as a temperature of 100.4° F or higher — is your immune system's response to an infection or another invader. Your elevated temperature is a clear sign something is amiss.
Most fevers go down if you take an over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). If yours doesn't, contact your doctor.
As for a fever that's too high, that depends on a couple of other factors. If you're over 65 or immunocompromised — especially if you may have been exposed to COVID-19 — call your doctor if your fever reaches 101°. Anyone with a fever of 103° or higher should do the same. And if your temperature reaches 105°, go straight to an emergency room.
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