What to do if you have a fever | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

5 things to do if you have a fever

Here are some steps to take if you’re not sure what to do if you have a fever. First, is it really a fever?

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Running a fever is never fun. This year, it’s especially scary. Here are some steps to take if you’re not sure what to do if you have a fever.

Is it really a fever?

First, make sure it’s really a fever. Your body’s normal temperature isn’t as steady as the usual guidance of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit suggests. A range of 97 to 99 degrees is more typical of normal temperatures. Generally, consider a fever as a temperature above 100 F, or 37.8 degrees Celsius, taken orally.

Isolate from others

Even in your home, stay away from others if possible.

Viruses spread mainly through droplets that get in the air when people with an illness cough, sneeze or talk. It is also possible to pass infection by human contact or touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes.

If you live in close quarters and can’t realistically isolate, all family members should act as if they are at high risk. That means wearing a mask at home, washing your hands often, keeping 6 feet apart as much as possible, covering coughs and sneezes, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, toilets and sinks, daily.

Continue to stay home until you are symptom-free and your fever has been gone for 24 hours.

Get medical help if….

Get medical help promptly if you are at high risk of serious complications from a virus, have difficulty breathing or feel like you need emergency care.

Otherwise healthy adults 18 years and older can rest and drink plenty of fluids with a fever up to 102 F, (38.9 C), taken orally. If you have a bad headache, stiff neck, shortness of breath or other symptoms that concern you, contact your primary care provider.

Otherwise healthy adults with a fever above 102 F taken orally can take a fever reducer such as acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen. If your temperature doesn’t come down or is consistently 103 F or higher, or lasts more than a few days, contact your primary care provider.

Fever guidance is different for children.

Based on your medical history, your provider will recommend a plan.

Make it easy with virtual options for care

If you have signed up for a free MyNortonChart account, you can message your provider’s office directly. If you haven’t signed up for MyNortonChart, it doesn’t take long at MyChart.NortonHealthcare.org. You may be able to schedule a Norton Telehealth visit with your primary care provider.

Care When You Need It, Close to Home

Norton Healthcare has convenient options for symptom treatment in kids and adults through our primary care and pediatrician offices, Norton Immediate Care Centers, Norton Prompt Care at Walgreens locations, Norton eCare and pediatric emergency care.

Get Better

If you do not have a primary care provider, you can schedule a video visit for patients two and older with Norton eCare, 24/7, to speak with a Norton Healthcare provider from home. They will be able to help guide you, discuss your testing options and write a prescription if necessary.

Take steps before getting tested

If you are concerned, consult with your primary care provider, a Norton Immediate Care Center or Norton Prompt Care at Walgreens location. You may need to be tested for influenza or COVID-19.

If you are feeling symptoms that may be related to COVID-19, call ahead to let staff know or schedule online. COVID-19 screening is available at these locations as well as at a Norton Respiratory Illness Treatment Center, by appointment.

With the flu, antiviral medications may be helpful, depending on how long you’ve had symptoms and any chronic health conditions that you have. If your symptoms are mild, you may be able to ride it out with over-the-counter remedies.

A positive test for the coronavirus/COVID-19 allows contact tracing. With health officials able to warn others with whom you’ve been in contact — they won’t know it was you — spread of the virus can be reduced.

A positive COVID-19 test may require notification of your employer and/or school to follow their safety protocols.

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