Running a fever is beneficial when we are ill, so why are we are we so afraid of it?

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When I was young, we were always told to take Tylenol or some other medication to reduce our fever. Running a fever was something we were always treated for. Body temperature is controlled by the hypothalamus and the new normal is about 97.5, rather than 98.6 which many of us grew up believing. During this time of covid-19, many of us can have numbers that are lower or higher depending on the temperature outside, and our activity levels.  I know this because we screen everyone's temperature as a precaution before treatment. When the body is fighting something, your body raises its temperature as part of how it fights infection. Fever will shorten an illness, so it serves us well to allow a fever to perpetuate until it breaks naturally most of the time. Unfortunately, chills and sweats are uncomfortable so many of us reduce the fever for comfort. With covid-19, fevers are common and unless it is uncomfortably high, it is really your body fighting the good fight to get you back to health more quickly. The NY Times recently featured an article on fevers.  Check it out

Why Are We So Afraid of Fevers?

Under most circumstances, fever is beneficial, reducing the severity of illness and shortening its length.

By Jane E. Brody Jan. 11, 2021 Among the many measures my local Y is using to prevent the spread of Covid-19, instant temperatures are taken with a forehead scanner before people can enter the building. Curious to know how “hot” I was one cold, rainy day, I asked the attendant what it registered: 96.2. The last time my temperature was checked in a medical setting it was 97.5. Whatever happened to 98.6, degrees Fahrenheit that I and most doctors have long considered normal body temperature? As if reading my mind, Dr. Philippa Gordon, a Brooklyn pediatrician, sent me an article, “People’s Bodies Now Run Cooler Than ‘Normal’ — Even in the Bolivian Amazon,” by two anthropologists, Michael Gurven and Thomas Kraft, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Read more