A Bad Day!

What really happens when you have a fever.

How It Happens

First off, a fever is the body's natural way of defending itself from invaders like viruses and bacteria. A fever is usually related to the body's immune response. An immune response is the reaction of the cells and fluids of the body to the presence of a substance that is not recognized by the body. When you are sick the temperature rise causing you to get a fever.

At the base of the brain the hypothalamus acts as a thermostat. While the pathogens are producing pyrogens, the hypothalamus detects them and the body begins producing heat. The pathogen in the fever would be both viral and bacterial. Antibodies are produced by white blood cells and they are apart of a specific immune response to foreign matters. The immune system recognizes the pathogens in two ways. First, the white blood cells attacks the pathogens and produce chemicals that help the other white blood cells. Second, the white blood cells produce antibodies specific to reach pathogens and provide the body with immunity.

Immune Response

How does the first line of defense respond? Well, the skin is the first thing the pathogens would have to get through. The bacteria cells that live on your skin can also kill the pathogens. The most common way the pathogen can get through your skin would be a cut. Pathogens can live on your eyes so the tears you produce slows them down. The pathogen from a fever could usually enter through the mucous. Even through it slows the growth of pathogens they are still able to get through.

Sine the pathogen got through the first defense, what happens with the second defense? Well, the second line of defense is the inflammation response. In other words, the swelling, redness, and heat are signs that the pathogens got through the first defense. Most pathogens can't tolerate heat, so they grow weak. The pathogens affects more than one area of the body. This causes a temperature rise, but it mostly damages most of the tissues. When you try and lower a high fever, medication is advisable in order to avoid tissue damage.

A specific immune response differs from nonspecific immune response because a specific immune response triggers antigens. When the body detects a foreign antigen, specific immune responses occur. Secondly, a specific immune response provides protection from future exposures to the same material. When the T cells divide, B cells recognize the foreign antigen. After a few days, B cells begin to produce antibodies that help destory pathogens. In the future, if the same pathogen enters the body again, the body will be able to respond more quickly.

When it actually happens

9th grade summer, I went on vacation with my dad and my two brothers. I started to feel sick, so I told my dad. He told me I could have just caught a common cold. But, the symptoms became worst. I started sweating, shivering, I had a loss of appetite and a headache. My dad said that he was going to take me to the emergency room to see what was wrong. The doctor there told me I have a high fever and my temperature was 103 F. She told me I had this fever for approximately 3 days. I didn't even know how it was possible but she told me a pathogen had mostly likely got into my body through my skin because I had a tiny cut on my finger I forgot to cover. Thus, I learned that the pathogen that entered my body was bacterial and it cause my skin to swell where the cut was. The doctor described that the antibody noticed that there was foreign matter that was trying to enter my body and it began fighting the it. An antibody is a blood protein in response to and counteracting a specific antigen. When I found all this out I was surprised that my body could even do that. My doctor just prescribed me medication for the fever. She gave me antibiotics and told me that I had to take them for a few weeks and hopefully I would get better. All I knew was that my vacation was over because of the fever which made me upset, but I could always go back another day.