The following is a summary of “Symptomatology of fever: A step towards qualitative definition of fever” published in the October 2022 issue of Family Medicine and Primary Care by Kapoor et al.

Fever is a sign, not a symptom; hence previous definitions of fever were based on cross-sectional population surveys rather than symptomatology analysis. Therefore, a long-term follow-up investigation was urgently required to examine fever-related symptoms.

In a one-year longitudinal research, 196 individuals took their temperature three times a day—after waking up, between 12 and 3 PM, and just before bed—as well as completed a symptomatology questionnaire.

A per-protocol analysis was conducted on the 144 subjects who were febrile. The symptoms that were most prevalent during the febrile phase included fatigue (50.3%), warmth (47.3%), headache/head heaviness (47.0%), feeling malaise/general weakness (46.7%), loss of appetite (46.5%), muscle cramps/aches (45.6%), chills/shivering (44.6%), increased sweating (43.0%), nausea (42.5%), irritability (38.9%), increased breathing rate (37.1%), and restlessness/anxiety/palpitations (36.5%). Higher temperature readings were related to more accompanying symptoms. The numerically maximum temperature levels (100.86±1.70°F) predicted by dehydration were only observed in a small number of feverish individuals.

It was vital that symptom analysis be used while treating febrile individuals. The two symptoms that were observed to be most common during the febrile phase were warmth and fatigue. The severity of a fever can also be predicted by the associated symptoms.