Signs and symptoms of fever

Woman and baby with a fever

A fever is temporary as the body temperature rises due to an infection or any other secondary cause. It is a sign that something is going on within the body that needs to be looked into.1

Usually adults with a fever may feel uncomfortable and it is not much of a concern unless the temperature reaches 39.4°C or higher.1 For children, a temperature of more than 38°C is indicative of a fever.2

Symptoms of fever

Man with a fever

Symptoms of fever in adults1,3

Symptoms of fever in adults include sweating, chills and shivering, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, irritability, dehydration and a sense of general weakness.

Other symptoms would depend on the cause of the fever. Some examples are:

Cause Symptoms
Dysentery or gastroenteritis


Diarrhoea (with or without presence of blood)

Upper respiratory tract infection


Runny nose

Sore throat

Sinus or nasal congestion

Urinary tract infection

Painful urination

Back pain

Increased frequency in urination

Skin or soft tissue infection Focus of infection like a rash or abscess
Child with fever

Symptoms of fever in children1,2

Other than a raised temperature of more than 38°C, children may exhibit symptoms of fever differently from adults.1,2

Febrile children may not be as active or talkative as usual or may seem fussier, less hungry but thirstier. On touching the child, they may feel hot or warm.2

As in adults, other symptoms associated with the cause of fever will also be apparent.

An adult and child with fever

Recognising “red flag” symptoms1,4

Adults with fever must be referred to a doctor if there is accompanying:

  • severe headache
  • unusual skin rash
  • unusual sensitivity to bright light
  • stiff neck or if there is pain when they bend the head forward
  • mental confusion
  • persistent vomiting
  • difficulty in breathing or chest pain
  • abdominal pain
  • convulsions or seizures

Children with fever must be referred if:

  • the colour of skin, lips or tongue turn blue
  • does not respond to social signs, does not wake up if roused or, has a weak, high-pitched or continuous cry
  • there is grunting or chest draws into the body
  • the skin looks dry
  • if the child is < 3 months with a fever of > 38°C, has a coloured rash, neck stiffness or seizures.

Understanding fever

Child with fever

Fever overview

Find out the basics about fever.


fever icon

What causes fever?

Learn more about the causes of fever.



What can you recommend to your patients for fever?

Find out more about both non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments for fever in both adults and children.


Learn more

Crocin 650 pack shot

Releases paracetamol 2X faster5*

With 2x faster disintegration and absorption than standard paracetamol tablet, Crocin 650 relieves pain faster5 and can be even taken on an empty stomach.6,7†

Find out more

Patient care resources

Patient care resources

Review a selection of educational resources to help your patients gain a better understanding of their pain, and learn which self-help activities and products can help.

Learn now

Crocin for children pack shot

Tough** on fever and pain,8 gentle on the child8,9‡

Crocin for children contains paracetamol which is recommended as first-line treatment for fever and mild-to-moderate pain in children.4,9,10 Active paracetamol in Crocin for Children starts to relieve fever within 15 minutes.8,11,12

Learn more