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Content on this page was developed during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and has not been updated.

  • The H1N1 virus that caused that pandemic is now a regular human flu virus and continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.
  • The English language content on this website is being archived for historic and reference purposes only.
  • For current, updated information on seasonal flu, including information about H1N1, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.

Caring for Someone Sick at Home

Treat Fever

December 5, 2009, 6:00 AM ET

About fever

Bringing down a fever will make the person feel better and help patients rest.child with fever

Treating a fever without medicine

  • Put a cool, damp washcloth on their forehead.
  • Wash their arms and body with a cool cloth.
  • Give the person a slightly warm bath.

Treating a high fever with medicine

  • Look for the ingredients "acetaminophen" or "ibuprofen" on labels.
  • These medicines may take 30 to 45 minutes to start working. They may not bring fevers down to normal temperature.

When a fever causes a seizure

A seizure makes you have jerky spasms and can also make you pass out. In rare cases, a fever can bring on a seizure, called a "febrile seizure." Seizures brought on by fever are more common in young children. Call the doctor or get medical help for seizures.

Any child younger than 3 months who has a fever should see a doctor.

 
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