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Fever: Why your temperature goes up

A fever is a temporary increase in body temperature that happens when your body is trying to fight an illness or infection.

What causes it?

A fever can have a number of different causes, like a cold, the flu, strep throat, or other common illnesses. A more serious cause of fever is a urinary tract infection (UTI), which, if untreated, can develop into dangerous kidney infections.


You don’t always need to treat a fever – in fact, it’s often a sign that your body is healing on its own. You will want to contact your provider if you have a stiff neck or intense headache, or if the fever lasts for more than three days. The Mayo Clinic recommends calling your healthcare provider if your fever is greater than 103 F (39.4 C), or if it lasts more than three days.

Minor fevers are often treatable with fever-reducers like ibuprofen.

  • “Fever.” MedlinePlus. US National Library of Medicine, Dec 2016. Web.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Fever: Causes.” MayoClinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, May 2014. Web.

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