Does a Cold Cause a Fever?

Cold and Fever

A cold, also known as the common cold, is typically caused by a viral infection, most commonly by rhinoviruses. While a cold can cause a variety of symptoms, including a sore throat, runny nose, congestion, coughing, and sneezing, it usually does not cause a fever.

Fever is generally more commonly associated with other types of infections, such as influenza (the flu) or bacterial infections. When your body’s immune system detects an infection, it may raise your core body temperature as a defense mechanism to help fight off the invading pathogens.

In the case of a cold, your body’s response to the viral infection typically involves producing mucus and other immune responses to clear the virus from your respiratory system, but it does not typically involve a significant increase in body temperature. This is why fever is not a typical symptom of the common cold.

However, it’s important to note that individual responses to infections can vary, and some people with a cold may experience a low-grade fever as a part of their body’s response to the virus. Additionally, a cold can sometimes weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to other infections, including those that may cause a fever.

If you have a cold and develop a high fever (typically defined as a body temperature of 100.4°F or higher), it may be an indication of another infection or complication, and you should consult a healthcare provider for evaluation and appropriate treatment. In such cases, your healthcare provider can determine the underlying cause of the fever and recommend appropriate interventions.

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