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When should I go to the emergency room (ER) for a fever?

A fever that is accompanied by symptoms such as a headache, vomiting or a backache should be addressed immediately.

You should go to the hospital if you have a fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. A fever that high can injure your body. A lower fever without any symptoms is not a reason to go to the hospital. However, you may need to go to the emergency room if you have a lower fever and these symptoms:

  • a lot of trouble breathing (shortness of breath)
  • a cut or break in the skin (wound) with thick green, yellow, tan or white fluid coming from it

Call your doctor if you have a fever and aren't sure if you need emergency medical care.
 

A fever that doesn't go away or is associated with pain should send you to the ER.

You should go to the emergency room for a fever if you reach 100.4 F; it could indicate a virus or bacterial infection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.