Fever is a physiological response to an infection or illness that raises the body’s core temperature in an attempt to fight off the offending agent. There are generally three stages of fever:
- Onset or Prodrome Stage: This is the initial stage of fever, in which the body starts to recognize the presence of an invading agent and begins to mount a defense. Symptoms during this stage can include fatigue, headache, chills, and muscle aches.
- Hot or Acute Stage: In this stage, the body temperature rises and remains elevated, usually between 100.4 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The person may experience sweating, flushed skin, increased heart rate, and rapid breathing.
- Defervescence or Recovery Stage: This is the final stage of fever, in which the body gradually returns to its normal temperature range. Symptoms may include continued sweating, fatigue, and a general feeling of weakness, but these symptoms will typically improve over time as the body recovers.