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ever is the increase of body temperature above normal values and it is accompanied by a fast heart and respiratory rate as a reaction of the organism to some disease, generally infectious. Normal body temperature ranges from 36 °C to 37 °C. We can talk about fever when body temperature is higher than 38 °C, but if it rises below that value we speak of febricula, a low-grade fever. Body temperature is usually at its lowest at 6 a.m. and at its highest between 4 and 6 p.m. The average body temperature in adults is 36.8 ± 0.4 °C. In children, it may fluctuate during the day at the highest levels, while in the elderly the ability to generate high body temperatures is reduced. Fever above 38 °C or accompanied by other symptoms must be treated, particularly in the case of very high temperatures (> 39 °C) or febrile seizures in children, pregnant women and people with heart, respiratory or brain diseases. In the case of mild fever, treatment shows no clear benefits and in many cases may hide important information for medical diagnosis. Our body keeps a constant temperature thanks to a thermoregulatory center located in the brain (hypothalamus). When, for some reason, the thermoregulatory center establishes a temperature higher than normal, fever and other symptoms occur. The increase of temperature in the brain produces many phenomena in our body: chills (muscle contractures), contraction of blood vessels (paleness), cold sensation, general malaise or enervation. Hormone release from glands such as the thyroid and the adrenal also occur; they command our body to increase the metabolism and body temperature and, as a result, blood vessels dilate, the person turns red and sweaty, heart and respiratory rate increase and body temperature rises. Fever as such is not a disease, but the symptom of a disease. In most cases, it is related to infections, but there are many other causes that may produce it, such as inflammatory disorders, autoimmune diseases, neoplasms, etc. However, we must first rule out its association with an infectious disease such as viral, which are the most frequent.
Magazine Evangelistic Impact Edition October 2016 English language