Fever | How Common is It and What To Do

There are many symptoms that come with the newest virus with a fever being one of the most common. Below we go over the inner workings of a fever, how common it is, and the best ways to deal with it during and after infection.

What Is A Fever?

Simply put, a fever is a body temperature that’s higher than considered normal (between 97-99 degrees Fahrenheit or 36-37 degrees Celsius). Temperature is considered high above 100.4⁰F (38⁰C) and is also known as hyperthermia or pyrexia. It is normally a sign that your body is working extremely hard to keep you healthy from an infection. The main part of your brain that controls your body temperature is known as the hypothalamus. This may reset your body to a higher temperature when responding to a certain infection or illness. So, as many know, if you feel a fever coming on then it’s a sign that something is going wrong with your body.

Thermometer showing high temperature

Dangerously High Temperature

How Common is Fever When You are Infected?

Although fever is a common symptom, but it is not always present in every positive case. As mentioned above, if you have a fever of 100.4⁰F or higher then it is recommended that you stay home and go through the proper medical procedures. This is to ensure that the virus is caught quickly as a fever can be an early symptom. 

It isn’t fully clear how common fever is when you are infected, but a study has shown from PLOS One (Peer Reviewed Journal) that data from about 25,000 adults found that fever was the most common symptom due to it being present in around 78% of cases. On the contrary, though, a study in China has shown that only around 44% of hospitalizations have fever upon admission. But, around 88% experienced some form of fever during the hospitalization period.

What to Do If You Have Fever

The single best way to treat fever from this virus is with Acetaminophen. This is the active ingredient that’s present in Tylenol and many other over-the-counter medicines. Don’t get this confused with Ibuprofen that is contained in Advil, Motrin, and others that can possibly make your symptoms worse. While this is not confirmed, it’s better to stay away and focus on the medicines that have been proven to help. Fever-reducing medicines usually take between 30-45 minutes to start working and may not reduce the fever as low as needed, but it's a great start!

Symptoms can start to occur as early as 2 days after exposure according to the CDC. If you are looking for an alternative way to treat without medicine, there are few great remedies such as:

  • Placing a washcloth that’s cool and damp on your forehead.
  • Take a slightly warm bath.
  • Wash your arms and body with a cool cloth.
  • Increased Fluid Intake
  • Rest

While these above remedies are great, if you start to feel like you are experiencing more than just mild symptoms then you may need to be treated at the hospital. 

Having Fever After Negative Test

Even after you finally test negative, you may still experience symptoms. While there is still not a ton of evidence to suggest this, there are instances where symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and loss of smell can persist after testing negative. Fortunately, even with these long-lasting symptoms, most doctors agree there’s really nothing to worry about at this point. Just because you no longer test positive doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow mask and social distance guidelines and use hand sanitizer anymore. It is still too early to tell if long-lasting immunity is acquired during infection, so continuing to practice the required safety measures is to ensure that not only you but others as well stay as safe as possible.



Fever is just one of the many symptoms that this highly contagious virus has. The key takeaways from this are to monitor your temperature, take an over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol, and also try home-remedies like taking a slightly warm bath and using a cool washcloth on your body. Once you test negative you shouldn’t worry too much about your symptoms because the worst part is most likely over.