A Mild Fever May Clear Infection Faster

By Medscape Staff

July 05, 2023

It may be better to let a mild fever run its course instead of automatically reaching for medication, according to research conducted by the University of Alberta in Canada.

What to know:

  • A moderate fever is usually self-resolving, meaning that the body can both induce it and shut it down naturally without medication.

  • Natural fever offers an integrative response by your body that not only activates defenses against infection, but also helps control inflammation and repair damaged tissue.

  • Research conducted on fish shows that fever may clear infection in about 7 days — half the time it took for those not allowed to exert fever, shutting down inflammation and repairing injured tissue.

  • Since the mechanisms driving and sustaining fever are shared among animals, it is reasonable to expect similar benefits take place among humans.

  • Every animal has a similar biological response to infection, but treating it with over-the-counter fever medications keeps your body from experiencing some of the benefits of a natural response.

This is a summary of the article, "Fever integrates antimicrobial defences, inflammation control, and tissue repair in a cold-blooded vertebrate" in eLife Sciences in February 2023. The full article can be found on elifesciences.org .

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