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Febriphobia: Fearsome phobias from A to Z

Being sick is a drag. Most of us would rather hold onto a hot potato than endure the aches and pains and discomfort of disease. And a fever can turn almost anyone into a hot mess. We may get a little hot under the collar. We might run hot and cold. We might get hot and bothered.

Some folks recoil in abject terror at the prospect of a fever.

Febriphobia is the fear of fever.

Plenty of people are truly terrified of becoming febrile. A certain level of this concern is warranted.

Generally brought on by an infection, a fever can summon all sorts of scary symptoms and complications. It’s not always just a slight increase in body temperature. A fever may be accompanied by dehydration, drowsiness, flushed skin, lethargy, muscle stiffness, skin rash, and tinnitus (a ringing in the ears). In the most severe or long-lasting situations, a febrile person may experience confusion, hallucinations, seizures, or trouble breathing. Untreated, a prolonged very high fever may even lead to brain damage or death.

Parents of young children may have febriphobia about their kids developing fevers, even if they do not fear experiencing high temperatures for themselves.

Sometimes an elevated temperature is a good thing.

It’s spring, and it’s often rainy at this time of year. Combine that phenomenon with the fact that we’re just coming out of winter, and most of us likely feel a little cabin fever. Right about now, we call it spring fever. We’re itching to get out and move more. We’re craving an uptick in the outdoor temperature. And our desire for pleasant weather is likely reaching a fever pitch.

But we still wouldn’t want a real fever, right?

Dengue, no.
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  1. I guess there's a word for almost every kind of fear. I had never heard of this one. I'll have to remember it!

  2. I well remember febriphobia from when my daughter was a wee thing and prone to ear infections. Once, the emergency room had to dunk her in a tub of ice water to bring her fever down. Now she's grown, with healthy ears, and we're both enjoying a little spring fever. Hay fever too, which is less fun. Interesting post!
    @RhondaGilmour from
    Late Blooming Rose



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