Fever can lead to death

Aha : Why can a high fever be fatal?

If you have a fever, leg wraps are often recommended. This is to lower the temperature again, because fever is considered unhealthy and harmful. As a rule, it is not the cause of an illness, but the body's response to it: It accelerates the metabolism and boosts the immune system. Certain bacteria do not cope well with elevated temperatures. They lose substances that they need to grow and form the cell walls.

Suppressing a fever is often unnecessary. But the body cannot cope with this costly type of immune defense for too long. The increasing metabolic activity can be very stressful, especially for cardiovascular patients.

If the temperature is too high, the structure of the body's own proteins also changes, similar to the clogging of protein in hot water. Our organism protects itself against this through the formation of heat shock proteins. But a temperature of more than 41 degrees Celsius can be life-threatening.

"If the temperature exceeds a certain threshold, the walls of the small blood vessels, the capillaries, become more permeable," says Joachim Roth from the Institute for Veterinary Physiology at the University of Giessen. The inner coating of these vessel walls, the endothelium, regulates the exchange of substances between blood and tissue. “The endothelial cells now contract and gaps are created.” In this way, fluid can escape from the blood vessels into the brain. Life-threatening brain edema is the result.

Usually, however, the temperature does not rise as much with a fever. This is more likely due to external influences such as heat stroke. Thomas de Padova

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