• By Deborah Balzer

Infectious Diseases A-Z: Do you need to worry about a fever if you have the flu?

January 28, 2019

a woman who is sick with a cold, flu, fever is holding a cup with a hot drink and looking at a thermometerIf you have the flu, you'll likely have a fever, as well. Fever is a temporary increase in body temperate and a common symptom of influenza. "We would consider a fever a body temperature of anything above 101 degrees Fahrenheit," says Dr. Pritish Tosh, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist. "If the fever gets much higher than that, we start getting into the 104, 105 range Fahrenheit range, and that gets concerning for potentially even more severe infection but also other complications."

Watch: Dr. Pritish Tosh talks about flu and fever

Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites with Dr. Tosh are in the downloads at the end of the post. Please 'Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network.'

The average normal temperature of a human body is 98.6 Fahrenheit (37 Celsius), but it's important to remember that it's just an average. "Body temperatures vary throughout the day," says Dr. Tosh. "Most people would say that the normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but that’s actually the average normal body temperature. It can cycle anywhere from the 96 range up into the low 100 range."

Along with a rise in body temperature, other symptoms of a fever may include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Shivering
  • Sweating
  • Weakness

With influenza, most people recover on their own. Dr. Tosh says if flu symptoms continue and a fever remains or rises, it's important to seek medical care. Fever in young children and infants may indicate a serious infection.

If you haven't had your flu shot, it's not too late. People 6 months and older are urged to get their annual flu shot.

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