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Pyrexiophobia- Fear of Fever

Fever is usually a sign of an infection, be it viral or bacterial and almost all of us had experienced having fever in our entire lifetime. Although it is unpleasant, fevers usually resolve with over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or even without medications. But pyrexiophobics have an exaggerated phobic or anxiety response to fever which may be caused by several things.

One might have gotten a really bad infection in the past that caused spiking fevers and long hospital stays and the experience could have been perceived as traumatic for that person. Others might have also heart that fever may be the initial sign of cancer such as leukemia thus they get paranoid when they get fever. Others might have also had a bout of malaria or had friends who had this infection and witnessed the suffering of these patients thus they fear getting fever or getting sick in general.

People with this fear can be obsessed with taking their body temperature and even just a little rise in their temperature may cause them to feel extremely anxious and will consult a physician right away. They will immediately take anti-pyretics and will confine themselves to their homes to make sure that they don’t get sick more.

Treatment includes proper education of these patients, coupled with psychotherapy for some whose quality of life has been affected by this phobia.