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When to See a Doctor for a Fever


Updated May 21, 2014


Should You Worry About Fevers?

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Fevers are not always serious. Typically, they are just our bodies' way of fighting off an infection. If you are concerned about a fever or wondering what temperature is too high, these tips will help you. While there is no specific number that is going to send you to the hospital in most cases, there are several things to take into consideration.

You should contact your doctor if you have a fever and any of these other symptoms.

  1. When fever lasts for more than 48 hours.
  2. When accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than 12 hours or is bloody.
  3. When accompanied by a cough that produces yellow, green, tan or bloody mucous.
  4. When accompanied by a severe headache, neck stiffness, drowsiness and vomiting. This is a medical emergency - go to the Emergency Room immediately.
  5. When fevers come and go, you have night sweats and swollen lymph nodes.
  6. When a mild fever comes and goes along with sore throat and tiredness.
  7. When accompanied by a sore throat and headache for more than 48 hours.
  8. When accompanied by severe stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
  9. When accompanied by an earache.
  10. When you have been exposed to high temperatures outside and you cannot get your temperature down after attempting cool down measures. - This is an emergency and you should seek medical attention immediately
  11. When you have recently started taking a new medicine and have no other symptoms.
  12. When you have pain or burning when urinating or back pain.
  13. When temperature remains above 103 degrees despite medication and other cool down measures (ie.taking a cool bath, cool compresses on head and under arms, drinking cool drinks).

You should always consult your doctor if you are concerned about your fever.

Also read: Can Fevers Cause Brain Damage?


"Fever." Familydoctor.org. 1996. American Academy of Family Physicians. 24 Oct 2006

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