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Does having a fever when you're sick weaken your immune system?

ANSWER

Running a fever when you're sick doesn't weaken your immune system.

A fever can help your immune system fight infections in two ways. A higher temperature in the body speeds up the functioning of cells, including the ones that fight illness. They can respond to invading germs faster. Also, higher body temperatures make it harder for bacteria and viruses to thrive in the body.

SOURCES:

Glasser, R. , March 2005. Nature Reviews: Immunology

WebMD Feature: "Top 12 Flu Myths."

WebMD Medical Reference in Collaboration with Cleveland Clinic: "Allergy Shots."

WebMD Health News: "Cautious Optimism Over Cancer Vaccine."

Brigham and Women's Hospital: "Drinking Tea May Boost Immune System."

FamilyDoctor.org: "When Your Infant or Child Has a Fever."

The Cleveland Clinic: "Diet, Exercise, Stress and the Immune System."

Harvard Health Report: "The Truth About Your Immune System."

Rowe, C. , October 2007. Journal of the American College of Nutrition

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on January 15, 2020

SOURCES:

Glasser, R. , March 2005. Nature Reviews: Immunology

WebMD Feature: "Top 12 Flu Myths."

WebMD Medical Reference in Collaboration with Cleveland Clinic: "Allergy Shots."

WebMD Health News: "Cautious Optimism Over Cancer Vaccine."

Brigham and Women's Hospital: "Drinking Tea May Boost Immune System."

FamilyDoctor.org: "When Your Infant or Child Has a Fever."

The Cleveland Clinic: "Diet, Exercise, Stress and the Immune System."

Harvard Health Report: "The Truth About Your Immune System."

Rowe, C. , October 2007. Journal of the American College of Nutrition

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on January 15, 2020

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Should I call the doctor because of a fever?

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