But nothing could be further from the truth. When a virus has entered the system or the body is infected with bacteria, the body creates heat – which we call fever – to activate the immune system. Fever is the body’s natural way of defending itself against those invaders because many viruses and bacteria can’t survive in the high temperature caused by the body’s defense system. In other words, fever destroys the bacteria and viruses in the body. Also, high body temperature not only signals the need for infection-fighting cells such as neutrophils and lymphocytes to defend the body against the invaders, but it also stimulates the production of these cells.
Now imagine that you interrupt the body’s normal reaction by taking medication to bring the fever down. Instead of being killed by the high temperature and removed by the infection-fighting cells, the bacteria and viruses survive and stay in the body much longer than they normally would, thereby creating havoc to your whole system.
Can you see how taking medication to bring down the fever interferes with the body’s natural way of healing? You may think that, by reducing the fever as quickly as possible, you are healing yourself when, in fact, you are not. Just feeling better doesn’t mean the virus or bacteria are gone. Sure, you are no longer feeling the effect of the fever, but you are totally unaware that your body is now working overtime to eliminate the bacteria and viruses from your system.
Of course, you feel miserable and sick while you have a high fever, but this is just an indicator your body is working very hard. Fever is one of your body’s most effective tools to make you aware that you better stay in bed and give your body enough time and rest so it can do its work and heal itself.*
Right now, in the midst of the Corona Virus Epidemic, we are told to do our best – eat healthy food, get enough sleep, etc., to boost our immune system. And rightly so. But then, when the immune system actually kicks in and does its job in the form of producing a fever, we suppress that reaction. Does that make sense to you?
*Disclaimer. While in most cases a fever is a healthy and natural body response that should be allowed to run its course, there are exceptions. In these cases, it is important to seek medical care. For example, a child under 3 months with a temperature over 100.4 degrees F, young children with a temperature over 104 degrees F, a fever that lasts more than two days, or fever in combination with other symptoms like listlessness, sensitivity to light, a stiff neck, respiratory distress, showing signs of dehydration or abdominal pain, all need immediate medical attention.