Adult Fevers: What To Know & How To Treat

A fever is when your body temperature rises above its normal temperature range. It’s a sign that your immune system is working properly to fight off causes of the fever such as a cold, flu, or other infection.

Woman sleeping wrapped in a blanket

Fever grades

A normal body temperature is approximately 98.6 °F, but may fluctuate depending on the time of day or what temperature reading method was used. While any temperature above your normal temperature range is considered a fever, there are different levels of fever severity.

Adult fever chart

Low-grade fever

Low-grade fever
>98.6 °F-100.4 °F

Moderate-grade fever

Moderate-grade fever
100.4 °F-102.2 °F

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High-grade fever*
>102.2 °F

*A temperature reading at or above 104 °F is called hyperpyrexia and is considered a medical emergency requiring immediate care.


  • Overheating
  • Chills
  • Achy muscles
  • Restlessness or Sleeplessness
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Discomfort
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Decreased appetite


A fever is your body’s natural defense against bacterial or viral infection, and is actually an indication that your immune system is doing its job. When you’re sick, your body temperature rises in an attempt to kill the temperature-sensitive bacteria causing the infection. Fevers are most commonly associated with colds & flu and will usually subside on their own within a few days.


While most fevers are harmless, these tips & tricks can help make yours more manageable. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.



Drinking plenty of water can not only prevent dehydration, but can also help lower your body temperature.



Your body is working on overdrive to fight off infection. Be sure to get plenty of sleep so you can recharge.

Light foods

Light foods

Eat foods that are easy to digest, like crackers and soup. Avoid dairy products like milk and cheese.

Cool compress

Cool compress

Apply a damp washcloth to your forehead to help lower your temperature.

Pain relieve

Pain reliever

Pain relievers containing acetaminophen can help alleviate head and body aches and lower your temperature. TYLENOL® is the #1 doctor recommended brand of pain reliever.