Fevers although uncomfortable and distressing especially for mother’s witnessing their ailing offspring are a good thing. It’s our bodies heating up to nuke an invading microbe and mobilise our immune systems in case the initial salvo of thermal energy doesn’t suffice.
Using Panadol and Nurofen to douse this protective blitz is counterproductive and harmful, a fruitless enterprise I’ve cautioned against in Immune Apocalypse together with alternate more salubrious strategies.
Dealing with a searing heat wave, especially when sudden, an event that is going to become frighteningly more commonplace exposes our scorching bodies to a whole different set of demands which if not met can be fatal.
We sweat to dissipate heat but as the mercury precipitously rises together with mounting humidity this process unravels. The protein in our cells that tells them how to operate becomes denatured and dysfunctional, effecting vital organs like our brain which can make us agitated and confused.
Dehydration can make it harder to sweat and as we got hotter our bodies might release a torrent of overheated chemicals called inflammatory cytokines which damage the enzymes in our cells further unhinging their activity.
The key is to take action before this biochemical catastrophe sets in. Remaining cool by utilising an evaporative cooling system whereby warm air from the outside is cooled and then circulated around the house or failing that traditional air conditioning, together with light clothing and regular cooling drinks, not necessarily ice cold, will go some way to prevent our cells from becoming tragically overcooked, a pre-emptive strategy we will need to embrace with alarming regularity as our planet increasingly sizzles.