Fever is generally defined as a core body temperature of least 100.4oF or 38oC. While there are many causes of fever, the most common reason is infection.
Most human infections are caused by viruses which the body will fight off without specific treatment, and typically fever will last three days or less. The presence of fever can also, however, signal more serious and potentially life threatening bacterial infections that require prompt treatment.
For kids with fever, seek medical treatment immediately when:
- He or she is less than 3 months of age
- Temperature is higher than 103, or any fever that lasts greater than 3 days
- Your child is not acting “right”, seems difficult to arouse, or has any symptom that is concerning to you
For all patients, kids and adults included, seek medical attention when fever:
- Lasts greater than 3 days
- Is associated with chest pain or shortness of breath
- Is accompanied by significant abdominal pain
- Is associated with a wound that gets red and tender, or you notice a red streak
- Is present and you have difficulty urinating
- Is associated with severe headache, stiff neck, light sensitivity, or unusual rash
Never Miss a Beat!
Subscribe to Our HealthBeat Newsletter!
Thank you for subscribing!
You can now select the specific newsletters you'd like to receive.
You are already subscribed.
Subscribe to more newsletters in our email preference center.
Sorry, an error occurred. Please try again later.
Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!
There are many other causes of fever, and you should always consult your own healthcare professional for personal advice regarding your or your loved one’s elevated body temperature.
Connect with UPMC
About Urgent Care
Sometimes you need care right away, with no time to wait for an appointment. That’s where UPMC Urgent Care comes in. We offer prompt treatment for illnesses and injuries seven days a week, with no appointment necessary. With locations throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, you can find immediate care close to you – even if your doctor’s office is closed. Our services include treatment for minor injuries and illnesses, physicals, prescription filling, and flu shots and immunizations. Wait times for minor injuries and illnesses are usually shorter than the Emergency Department, and we accept most major insurance. Visit our website to find a location close to you.