Fever: friend or foe?
来源：未知 作者：梅殳崭 时间：2019-03-01 09:06:07
By Robert Matthews and Clare Wilson High temperatures can help you fight infections – or make you much worse. Now doctors are learning when it’s better to let a fever burn itself out It is often the first sign that we’re coming down with some bug: we feel groggy, tired – and hot. A thermometer or a hand to the forehead confirms that we have a fever, or as doctors call it, pyrexia. One of the hallmarks of infectious illness, a fever is not just uncomfortable. In some cases it can trigger fits and perhaps even brain damage. The usual response is to bring down the temperature with antipyretic drugs, such as aspirin, paracetamol (aka acetaminophen) and ibuprofen. It has long been acknowledged that such drugs could, in theory, be counterproductive – they do, after all, interfere with the body’s natural response to infection. But these qualms have been set aside for a variety of reasons: the need to relieve discomfort; fears about brain damage; time-honoured practice; and, some would say, the urge to be doing something rather than nothing. The upshot is that antipyretics are routinely used for any feverish illness, from the sickest of patients in intensive care to people using over-the-counter medicines at home. The standard advice for people with flu, for example, is to dose up with paracetamol. Parents of young children, who are especially prone to fevers, are well aware of the perils of inaction: febrile convulsions. But now there’s growing concern that these time-honoured approaches are at best misguided and at worst potentially life-threatening. New findings are starting to support a much older view of fever: