When the fall cold and flu season hit, an important symptom to watch for is fever; it’s often a sign of infection. In general, a fever is a body temperature above these levels:1

  • 99° armpit
  • 100° oral
  • 100.4° temporal artery, ear, or rectal

How do you know whether to talk to a doctor? The following guidelines can help you decide what to do — especially since some people who have a fever may not look or act sick:

WHEN TO TALK TO A DOCTOR
AGE TEMPERATURE/CONDITION
Younger than 3 months
  • Any fever
3-6 months
  • Up to 102°; acts unusually agitated, tired, or uncomfortable
  • Above 102°
6 months-2 years
  • Above 102° and lasts longer than a day
2-17 years
  • Up to 102°; acts unusually agitated, tired, or uncomfortable
  • Above 102° and lasts longer than 3 days or doesn’t come down when treated
Adults
  • Fever doesn’t come down with treatment
  • Temp is consistently 103° or higher
  • Fever lasts longer than 3 days

WHEN TO SEEK EMERGENCY CARE

Get medical attention immediately if your child has any of these warning signs after being left in a hot car or experiencing any potentially dangerous situation: 

  • Fever with no sweating
  • Severe headache
  • Seizures
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Repeated vomiting or diarrhea
  • Irritability or significant discomfort
  • Any unusual or worrisome symptoms

Be sure to download this fever guide and keep it in a handy place at home or the office. Remember, though, that these are only guidelines. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Teladoc.

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Being able to tell whether an infection is bacterial or viral can be helpful too:

BACTERIAL INFECTION VIRAL INFECTION
SYMPTOMS
  • Higher grade fever (worsens after a few days)
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low-grade fever (responds to treatment)
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
DURATION and TREATMENT
  • More than 10-14 days if not treated
  • May progress from a viral infection
  • Treatment sometimes includes antibiotics
  • Up to 14 days
  • May occur more often in a year
  • Treatment includes easing the symptoms
COMMON INFECTIONS
  • Pneumonia
  • Sinusitis
  • Ear infections
  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Eye infections

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When you need help for a non-emergency illness, you can be confident with Teladoc’s board-certified, licensed physicians. If a diagnosis requires medication, the doctor can send a prescription to the pharmacy of your choice; you can select the pharmacy through our time-saving mobile app. You can also upload images and even sync your Kinsa thermometer and Apple Health data to the app.

No matter what symptoms arise, Teladoc is here 24/7 anywhere in the U.S by app, web, or phone. Not only that, we can share your visit summary with your primary care physician (PCP). How’s that for convenience? Whether you’re caring for yourself or a family member, you’re #CoveredwithTeladoc.

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1. All temperatures are Fahrenheit

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