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Pauline
Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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Is a low grade fever of 99.1 contagious?

Resolved Question:

I have had a low grade fever of 99.1 to 99.5 for 8 days. My kids both had a flu but their temperature was very high.

I don't have a sore throat or cough; just headache, fever and fatigue.

I've been flying a lot and may be picked something up that way?

Does this sound like flu or a random virus?

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

Traveling exposes people to many different viruses and normally the body adapts to fight them.

The first thing to establish is whether the temperature comes down with Tylenol or ibuprofen.

Have you been taking anything?

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

My fever is normally just at night or late afternoon. I don't have fever now but still feel awful.

I've not taken anything because I'm waiting get back to work and I've been told for contagious reasons that I need to be without fever for 24 hours to return.

Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

What is your job?

Does your employer stipulate that the fever-free period must be without use of antipyretics?

Have you been assessed for any other possible causes of your fever such as urinary tract or ear infection?

You do need to ensure that you are adequately hydrated, as dehydration secondary to fever is a common cause of headache.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

It's not a rule of the employer but the doctor said 24 hours and CDC says 24 hours without fever.

I'm a sales manager and travel by plane most weeks.

What is an antipyretic? I've not been assessed for any other possible causes for fever.

What's odd is that I don't have a cough or sore throat.

Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

Antipyretic is any drug that reduces the fever temperature so that includes Tylenol, ibuprofen and Aspirin.

I would suggest that you have plenty of fever, rest and appropriate doses of Tylenol or ibuprofen for 24 hours and then reassess your fever.

At the moment we do not know how the fever will respond. I would expect most self limiting illnesses to respond quickly to the medication and you should be ready to return to work in 48 hours. If the fever is not controlled by medication or returns to a high level after stopping the medication then you should see a doctor for a respiratory examination, ear and throat examination and urine analysis. I would also suggest blood tests to see if white cells are elevated as that would confirm an underlying infection.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Will having Tylenol help me get better or just lower the fever?

Is the low grade fever less contagious if I am still sick but the Tylenol is bringing down the fever?

Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

Since we do not know the cause for the fever, we do not know if you are contagious at all. For example, if your fever was due to urinary tract infection then we would not expect this to be a risk to other people.

The Tylenol will control the fever regardless of the cause.

Bear in mind that normal body temperature includes a rise over the day and that the method of temperature measurement can affect the relevance of the temperature. For example, rectal measurement is different to armpit. Digital thermometers are more accurate than strips.

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