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Do's and Don'ts of Fighting a Viral Fever

Dec 27, 2019
Man Holding a Thermometer and Towel on Head at medical health centers Suffolk county Ny

It’s winter in Suffolk County! That means evenings by the fire, snowball fights, and sometimes, fever. A fever is your body’s response to an illness or infection. Keep in mind, unless it rises too high, a fever can be a good thing. Whether caused by a bacterial infection or a virus, a fever helps your body recover. Take a minute and read about the dos and don’ts of fighting a viral fever.

Do Take Medicine for a Viral Fever

One of the most common ways you can fight a viral fever is with over-the- counter (OTC) medications. Keep in mind a low-grade fever of between 98.7°F and 100.4°F may not need medication. If your fever is higher, you’re experiencing discomfort, or your fever lingers for longer than 24 hours, your doctor may suggest you take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Don’t Expect to Take Antibiotics

Sometimes patients feel a bit disappointed when they visit one of the urgent medical centers and go home without a prescription. Unless they suspect you have a bacterial infection such as strep throat, doctors don’t prescribe antibiotics to treat fevers. If your fever is caused by a virus, such as a cold or influenza, an antibiotic won’t cure it or relieve the symptoms. Rest assured, by not prescribing an unnecessary medication, your doctor is looking out for your health. Speaking of rest, it’s a great fever treatment!

Do Get Plenty of Rest

The funny thing about fevers is that activity can raise the body’s temperature. This means if you already have a fever and continue with your normal level of activity, you can interfere with your body and its attempts to fight the fever. It’s one reason why doctors prescribe rest as part of a fever treatment regimen. Fevers also tend to make you feel tired, so the need for rest makes sense.

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Don’t Forget to Drink Water

When you have something higher than a low-grade fever, your body can easily lose fluids. This may result in dehydration. The best way to avoid dehydration is to drink plenty of water. If you’re a person who finds water a bit boring, you can drink clear soup broth, Pedialyte, very diluted juice, or suck on ice chips. The main drink should be water but don’t hesitate to include the others as well.

Do Keep Your Cool

Since a fever makes your body temperature rise, one of your goals is to cool your body down. Take off heavy layers of winter clothing. It might be cold outside, but a body with a fever prefers a lightweight shirt. You can also apply a cool cloth to your forehead or take a cool sponge bath.

If you think you have a fever that’s too high or you’re simply not feeling well and want to talk to the staff at a medical health center in Suffolk County, NY, contact Peconic Bay Medical Center at (631) 548-6000 and schedule an appointment.