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When you’re sick with a fever, your doctor will likely tell you it’s a sign that your immune system is defending you against an infection. Fever typically results from immune cells at infected sites sending chemical signals to the brain to raise the set point of your body’s thermostat. So you feel chills when the fever starts and feel hot when the fever breaks.

However, if you were to ask your doctor exactly how fever protects you, don’t expect a completely satisfactory answer.

Despite scientific consensus that fever is beneficial in fighting infections, exactly how is contentious. The evolution of fever is a classic conundrum because fever’s effects seem so harmful. Besides making you feel uncomfortable, you may worry you’ll dangerously overheat. It is also metabolically costly to generate that much heat.

Edmund LeGrand, adjunct professor of biomedical and diagnostic sciences, joined Joe Alcock, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico, to explain how the heat of fever helps your body fight infections. Read the full article at The Conversation.

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Cindi King (865-974-0937,