Fever and Body Temperature
Hi, I have a few questions that I want to ask you:
Why does your body chose to raise its temperature when you have a fever?
Most bacteria and viruses that live in your body grow best at body
temperature. They don't grow very well when the temperature is raised. When
there are bacteria in your body they give off chemicals that signal white
blood cells to come to try to eat them and also affect an area in your brain
called the hypothalamus. This part of the brain controls alot of the
automatic functions in your body and is also the site of your body's
"thermostat". When the chemicals from the bacteria circulate through the
hypothalamus it sets the body's temperature higher. This is called a fever.
Your body kind of tries to "sweat out" the bacteria and kill them with a
higher temperature. Some scientists question whether trying to bring down a
fever is the best thing to do. If it isn't too high, some believe we should
just let it work.
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Update: June 2012