By Pam Teel
A fever is a helpful and necessary part of the process of healing in a childhood illness. During a fever, the healing reactions of the body are sped up. The heart breathes faster, carrying blood more quickly to the organs, respiration is quicker, and perspiration increases, helping the body to cool down naturally. A high temperature usually means that the body’s defense mechanism is fighting an infection, and the temperature variations indicate how it is coping. Though very high fevers above 106 degrees F (41c) can harm the brain and heart of a child, normally healthy children would come out of the fever unharmed. During most infections, the brain keeps the body temperature at or below 104 degrees.
Fever increases the amount of interferon, a natural antiviral and anticancer substance in blood. A mild fever also increases white blood cells that kill cells infected with viruses, fungi, or cancer, and improves the ability of certain white blood cells to destroy bacteria and infected cells. According to Dr. Mercola and other leading physicians, a moderate fever is a friend, but a friend that no one would like to spend a lot of time with. Although fevers are conventionally treated with medication, a fever is the body’s mechanism for destroying viruses and bacteria.