A fever is a rise in body temperature in response to substances called pyrogens. Exogenous pyrogens come from foreign substances such as bacteria or viruses that invade the body. Endogenous pyrogens are produced by cells of the immune system when they are challenged. Pyrogens are the reason that we respond to many infectious diseases by getting a fever. Growing evidence suggests that fever is an adaptive response that helps the body fight pathogens.
The presence of a pyrogen in the body causes a rise in the hypothalamic set point for the metabolic heat production re-
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