Chills are commonly caused by inflammatory diseases, such as the flu. Malaria is one of the common reasons for chills and rigors. In malaria, the parasites enters the liver, grow there and then attack the red blood cells which causes rupture of these cells and release of a toxic substance hemozoin which causes chills recurring every 3 to 4 days. Sometimes they happen in specific people almost all the time, in a slight power, or it less commonly happens in a generally healthy person.
Some chills occur after exposure to a cold environment. They can also occur as a response to a bacterial or viral infection that causes a fever. Chills are commonly associated with the following conditions:
Evaluation of the degree of chills is important for estimating risk of bacteremia in patients with acute febrile illness. The more severe degree of chills suggests the higher risk of bacteremia.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and possibly run diagnostic tests to see if a bacterial or viral infection is causing your fever. Diagnostic tests may include a: blood test, including a blood culture to detect bacteria or fungi in the blood
If you or your child has a fever with chills, there are some things you can do at home for comfort and relief. Keep reading to learn how to treat a fever with chills and when you should call a doctor.
Treatment is usually based on whether your chills are accompanied by a fever and the severity of the fever. If your fever is mild and you have no other serious symptoms, you don’t have to see a doctor. Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of liquids. A mild fever is 101.4°F (38.6°C) or less.
Cover yourself with a light sheet and avoid heavy blankets or clothing, which can raise your body temperature. Sponging your body with lukewarm water or taking a cool shower may help reduce a fever. Cold water, however, may trigger an episode of chills.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can lower a fever and fight chills, such as:
As with any medication, carefully follow the instructions and take them as directed. Aspirin and ibuprofen will lower your fever and reduce inflammation. Acetaminophen will bring down a fever, but it won’t reduce inflammation. Acetaminophen can be toxic to your liver if it isn’t taken as directed and long-term use of ibuprofen can cause kidney and stomach damage.
Call your doctor if your fever and chills don’t improve after 48 hours of home care or if you have any of the following symptoms:
Treating a child with chills and fever depends on the child’s age, temperature, and any accompanying symptoms. In general, if your child’s fever is between 100ºF (37.8°C) and 102ºF (38.9°C) and they’re uncomfortable, you can give them acetaminophen in tablet or liquid form. It’s important to follow the dosing instructions on the package.
Never bundle feverish children in heavy blankets or layers of clothing. Dress them in lightweight clothing and give them water or other liquids to keep them hydrated.
Never give aspirin to children under the age of 18 because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome. Reye’s syndrome is a rare but serious disorder that can develop in children who are given aspirin while fighting a viral infection.
You should call a doctor in the case of any of the following:
Your doctor will ask questions about your chills and fever, including:
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and possibly run diagnostic tests to see if a bacterial or viral infection is causing your fever. Diagnostic tests may include a:
Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if you’re diagnosed with a bacterial infection, such as strep throat or pneumonia.
Hot water bath.
Hot water half a cup.