Exploring the Different Types of Fever

Discover the different types of fever, their causes, and how to manage them in this informative guide. Learn more about Types of Fever here.

Fevers: An Overview

Fever, also known as pyrexia, is the temporary increase in the body’s temperature due to an underlying medical condition. The normal body temperature for an adult is around 98.6°F (37°C), but it can vary slightly from person to person. When your body’s temperature rises above this normal range, you’re experiencing fever. Understanding the specific type of fever is essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment

Types of Fever

1. Infectious Fever

Infectious fever is one of the most widespread types of fever. It’s caused by infections, such as viral or bacterial infections. Common illnesses like the flu, colds, or strep throat can lead to infectious fever. When pathogens invade our body, the immune system responds by raising our body temperature. This increase in temperature helps combat the infection, making it an essential defense mechanism.

2. Inflammatory Fever

Inflammatory fever is often a result of various inflammatory conditions. Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease can trigger this type of fever. The inflammation in the body causes an elevation in temperature. In such cases, treating the underlying condition is crucial to reducing fever.

3. Drug-Induced Fever

Certain medications and drugs can cause drug-induced fever as a side effect. It’s essential to be aware of this possibility when taking any medication. If you experience a persistent rise in temperature after starting a new drug, consult your healthcare provider immediately.

4. Fever of Unknown Origin (FUO)

FUO is a medical term for fever with an unknown cause. This type of fever can be challenging to diagnose. When a fever persists for an extended period without a clear reason, extensive medical investigations may be necessary to uncover the underlying issue.

5. Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a condition triggered by allergens like pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. It causes symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and fever. While hay fever isn’t a typical fever in the infectious sense, it’s essential to recognize its symptoms and seek appropriate treatment.

6. Heat Fever (Heat Stroke)

Heat fever, commonly referred to as heat stroke, occurs when the body overheats due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures. It’s a severe condition that requires immediate medical attention. Heat fever can result in symptoms like a high body temperature, confusion, and even unconsciousness.

7. Traveler’s Fever (Traveler’s Diarrhea)

Traveler’s fever, or traveler’s diarrhea, is a condition often experienced by those who travel to foreign countries. It’s caused by consuming contaminated food or water and can lead to symptoms like fever, nausea, and diarrhea. Proper precautions and vaccinations can help prevent this type of fever.

8. Teething Fever in Infants

Teething fever is a common occurrence in infants when their teeth begin to emerge. It’s characterized by a slight increase in body temperature, irritability, and drooling. While teething fever is generally harmless, it’s essential to monitor your child’s discomfort and provide appropriate care.

Classifications of Fever based on Different Criteria

Here are different types or classifications of fever based on different criteria:

1. Types of Fever Based on Duration:

  • Acute Fever: Lasts less than 7 days. Examples include most viral upper respiratory infections like the common cold.
  • Sub-acute Fever: Lasts up to 14 days. Examples might include typhoid fever or some types of viral infections.
  • Chronic or Persistent Fever: Lasts more than 14 days. Tuberculosis, cancers, and some chronic infections can lead to this type of fever.

2. Types of Fever Based on Pattern:

  • Continuous Fever: The temperature remains above the normal range throughout the day and doesn’t fluctuate more than 1°C in 24 hours. Pneumonia and typhoid can manifest as a continuous fever.
  • Intermittent Fever: The temperature elevation is present only for certain periods, alternating with periods where the temperature is normal. Malaria is a classic example.
  • Remittent Fever: The temperature remains above normal throughout the day and fluctuates more than 1°C in 24 hours. This type can be seen in bacterial infections.
  • Pel-Ebstein Fever: A fever pattern where there are regular alternations of febrile periods and periods with normal temperatures. The febrile periods typically last several days. This is often associated with certain types of lymphoma.
  • Undulating Fever: A gradual increase in body temperature that drops suddenly, and this pattern repeats. Brucellosis is a disease that can cause an undulating fever.

3. Types of Fever Based on Cause:

  • Infectious Fever: Due to bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other pathogens. Examples include the flu, tuberculosis, and urinary tract infections.
  • Non-infectious Fever: Due to non-infectious causes such as certain cancers, autoimmune disorders, or drug reactions.
  • Drug-induced Fever: Some medications can induce a fever as a side effect.
  • Neurogenic Fever: This results from damage to the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that regulates body temperature).
  • Postoperative Fever: Occurs after surgical procedures, typically within the first few days.

4. Types of Fever Based on Other Specific Types:

  • Hay Fever: Interestingly, this is not a real fever. The term refers to allergic reactions that may mimic some symptoms of a cold or flu, such as sneezing and nasal congestion.
  • Rheumatic Fever: An inflammatory disease that can develop after an infection with group A Streptococcus bacteria, affecting the heart, joints, and other parts of the body.
  • Scarlet Fever: Caused by Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, leading to a characteristic red rash.


Understanding the types of fever is essential for effectively managing your health. From infectious and inflammatory fevers to heat-related and travel-associated fevers, each type requires a unique approach to treatment and prevention. If you’re ever unsure about a fever’s cause or how to manage it, consult a healthcare professional for guidance.

In conclusion, knowledge is power when it comes to fever management. Stay informed, stay healthy, and remember that your well-being is your most precious asset.


What is the most common cause of fever?

Viral and bacterial infections are the most common causes of fever.

How can I differentiate between a mild fever and a severe one?

Monitoring the duration and accompanying symptoms can help. A persistent high fever with severe symptoms may require medical attention.

Can stress and anxiety cause fever?

Yes, stress and anxiety can lead to psychogenic fever, a condition where emotional stress triggers an increase in body temperature.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice.

Name -Parika Parika holds a Master's in Nursing and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Nursing. In addition to her clinical experience, Parika has also served as a nursing instructor for the past 10 years, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for the nursing profession.

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