When is a fever cause for concern?

If any of the following situations apply, call a doctor as soon as possible:

  • A fever accompanied by a stiff neck, confusion or irritability
  • Any time a child under six months has a fever
  • Whenever a child between the ages of six months and a year has a fever that lasts beyond 24 hours
  • A fever remaining above 103°F (39.5°C) longer than two hours after home treatment
  • A fever lasting longer than two days
  • High fever accompanied by rash
  • Photophobia (irritated by light)
  • Dehydration (less amount of urine, sunken eyes, no tears)
  • Seizures

Any fever in an adult that goes above 105°F (or 40.5°C) and does not come down with treatment is a life-threatening medical emergency and 9-1-1 should be called.

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