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Q: High and fluctuating fever ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: High and fluctuating fever
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: e_rubin-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 15 Jun 2002 09:39 PDT
Expires: 22 Jun 2002 09:39 PDT
Question ID: 27157
For 5 days I have had a fever that ranges from almost normal (99.2F -
130.6F). It has fluctuated in as little time as one hour. I've eaten
very little for these past 5 days, yet have lost no weight. I've had a
blood test, but the results haven't yet come back. My doctor says this
is viral and has no other information for me.

I haven't slept very much all of this time, either. I have no cough or
other symptoms, other than muscular stiffness in the neck.

My first thoughts were that I may have contracted Lyme Disease, but my
doctor says that it's too early in the year for that, plus there were
no ticks on my body.

Request for Question Clarification by grimace-ga on 15 Jun 2002 09:43 PDT
130.6 Farenheit?

Please tell me that's a typing error...
Subject: Re: High and fluctuating fever
Answered By: missy-ga on 15 Jun 2002 11:14 PDT
Hi, e_rubin,

I'm sorry you're feeling unwell.  I'm assuming you meant your fever
was at 103F, not 130F?

It sounds like you have something I had a year ago, that the doctors
diagnosed as "viral syndrome" (my fever shot to 105F at one point,
scaring the daylights out of me).

My medical student friend says that "viral syndrome" is doctor-ese for
"We have absolutely no idea what's wrong with you, but it's not
serious, we don't have to amputate anything, so you'll be OK."

Try not to worry too much.  There's really no way to tell for certain
what's going on with you until that blood test comes back.  But we can
help ease your mind a little and try to help you keep comfortable.

As your doctor said, it's too early in the year for Lyme disease
worries, and the absence of ticks or tick bites would preclude
suspicion of that.  Furthermore, you haven't mentioned a bullseye
rash, which is one of the earliest symptoms of the disease.  Why not
have a look at the Lyme Disease FAQs, to set your worries to rest:

What Is Lyme Disease?

American Lyme Disease Foundation FAQ

So what else could this fever be?  Anything. Have a look at the Fever
Selfcare Flowchart at to see a list of possibilities:

Fever Selfcare

Your precise numbers aren't listed, but following the chart around
with the next closest still points to "viral illness".

You've already been to see your doctor, if it were something
lifethreating, you wouldn't be at home, asking your question.  I think
you can pretty safely rule out all the scary things and just stick to
"viral infection".

It seems your biggest problem right now is taking care of yourself so
you don't get any worse.  You say you're barely eating.  Does that
mean you're barely drinking as well?  Fever can cause dehydration,
which can cause higher fever, which can cause more dehydration...see
where that's going?

Let's see about getting that fever down:

1) drink *at least* 10 ounces of water or other fluids an hour.  If
you're not sure how much 10 ounces is, pull a soda can out of the
fridge - those are 12 ounces.  You should be taking in about that much
in fluids every hour. (Some sources will say 8oz., some say 12oz.  The
point is you need to drink a lot of fluids.)

2)  eat something light.  Some chicken broth, a few crackers, some
buttered toast.  You body still needs energy to fight off the
infection, and not eating isn't going to help that along.

3)  have a lukewarm sponge bath, or set your shower to just barely
warm, and the finest spray possible.  This helps cool you down.

4)  take an over the counter fever reducer like Advil or Tylenol. 
When I was ill, the doctor recommended staggering doses - for the
first dose, acetominophen.  For the next interval, ibuprofen.  Repeat
as necessary.  He explained that each one handles fever and pain
relief differently, and staggering the doses allows them to work
together, much in the same way that putting both ingredients in
Excedrine Migraine formula works.  **A word of caution:  PLEASE don't
try this until you've asked your doctor first!**

5)  rest.  Even if you can't exactly sleep, do your best to just rest.

University Health Services at the University of Rochester offers a
similar self care list:

UHS Fever Care

If you're still apprehensive, there's always Ask-A-Nurse for more
healthcare information:


Now that you know what to do to get the fever down, what's left? 
Here's a little something to keep your mind busy while you wait for
your test results:

PopCap Games

I hope you feel better soon!

Best regards,

Subject: Re: High and fluctuating fever
From: kutsavi-ga on 15 Jun 2002 17:10 PDT
I feel that it's very important to make sure that you told your doctor
about your neck pain, especially if you are experiencing others of the
symptoms listed below:  High temperature, stiff neck, dislike of
light, drowsiness and headache, along with other joint aches and
pains, vomiting and possibly seizures.  Hopefully you mentioned your
stiff neck to the doctor and he or she did the required tests for this
serious disease.  I hope you're feeling better and that this
information is moot.  Otherwise, contact your doctor and see these
websites for further information:

Meningitis Foundation of America:

Centers for Disease Control, Meningococcal Disease:

Google search term:  meningitis signs symptoms
Subject: Re: High and fluctuating fever
From: bnb-ga on 18 Jun 2002 05:47 PDT
High and fluctuating fever along with body pain and sleeplessness
normally are symptoms of viral attack but in some cases of malarial
attack same symptoms are also reported that can be diagnoised by blood
test. The immediate test of malarial attack of four- five days is the
examination of spleen which is swollen
in case of malaria. Any medical expert can examine swollen spleen by
just putting hand on left side of abdomen.

Whatever the cause of your fever drinking of high dose of mineral
water, eating some honey with fresh lemon juice after some  regular
interval will certainly benefit you. Don't take any medicine for
malaria before confirmation of it.
Subject: Re: High and fluctuating fever
From: 2tocure-ga on 24 Jun 2003 16:38 PDT
I have Lyme Disease.  The problem with Lyme disease is the
misconceptions about it.  First it can also be transmitted via
mosquitos not just ticks.  Second I never had a bullseye rash as 80%
of us that have it did not.  Third there are several inaccurate tests
that family physicians give that produce false results.  Western Blot
and Elisa among them.  I suggest that you look for a Lyme literate
doctor that can minister the antigen test from Bowen or another
eputable lab and you will know if you have the disease for sure.  The
longer you wait the worse the long term effects are for you so do not
put it off.  It can be transmitted from mother to child as I have two
children that were born with it that suffer long term effects as well.
 A fluctuating high fever is a very common accurance for many diseases
I am sure but it is a red flag for Lyme.

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