Fever is referred to as hyperthermia, pyrexia, or elevated temperature, usually over 100*F. Temperatures taken rectally are the most accurate. They register up to one degree higher than a temperature taken orally. Oral temperatures are the next most accurate with the thermometer placed under the tongue. Temperatures taken on the forehead, ear, and armpit are not precise (Varney et al., 2002). Glass thermometers with mercury should not be used.

Common causes of a fever:

Depending on the cause of the fever, symptoms may include:

Treatment for a fever depends significantly on the degree of the fever (Albert, 2017). Typically for a low-grade fever with no significant symptoms, drinking fluids, resting and the use of anti-pyretic, such as acetaminophen, is sufficient treatment.

If the fever does not subside and symptoms increase especially respiratory symptoms, patients may need more intense treatments, including oxygen and hospitalization.

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Which of the following methods provide the most accurate measurement of body temperature?



Albert, R.H. (2017). End-of-Life Care: Managing Common Symptoms. Am Fam Physician. 95(6), 356-361.

Varney, S.M., Manthey, D.E., Culpepper, V.E. & Creedon, J.F. (2002). A comparison of oral, tympanic, and rectal temperature measurement in the elderly. J Emerg Med.22(2),153-7.