A fever is an increased body temperature of 37.4°C or above. It is the body's natural response when fighting an infection.
In children, it is common to see high temperatures of up to 40°C. Having a higher temperature does not indicate a more severe illness. However, for infants and toddlers, a fever may suggest a serious infection.
What are the symptoms of a fever?
When you have a fever, your body temperature is higher than 37.4°C. Don’t rely on touch to assess a temperature. Use a thermometer.
As a child, you may also experience:
Longer sleeping time
Febrile fits during a sudden rise in temperature, or before a fever is detected.
Reduced appetite for food and drinks
As an adult, you may also experience:
Hot, flushed face
Loss of appetite
Sweating or weakness
When to visit the A&E?
Visit our 24-hour A&E clinic if you or your child have the following symptoms or medical history:
Your young infant (below 3 months old) has a temperature of 38°C or more, or your child displays the following symptoms:
A temperature exceeding 41°C
Drowsiness or increased lethargy
Fever for a few days with no other symptoms
Extremely irritability or inconsolability despite efforts to lower the fever
Recurrent vomiting, with a stiff neck or severe headache
Refusal to drink fluids or unable to pass enough urine
Severe pain over any part of the body
Red lips, red eyes or a rash
Hard or fast breathing
Febrile fit or seizures
A seizure or fits, coupled with fever
Surgery or a medical procedure recently
Coughing up blood
Struggling to breathe
Undergoing chemotherapy with an oral temperature that exceeds 38ºC for more than 1 hour
Taking steroids and medicines used to prevent rejection after an organ transplant