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889 Fever and the Immune System 1/19/2013

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Don't be too quick to treat an elevated temperature with aspirin or acetaminophen. Fever helps the body fight infections, and it could be a mistake to attack the symptom--fever--instead of the cause. We talk with the scientists who have studied the benefits of fever.

Clostridium difficile is true to its name--Difficult to treat. An unusual treatment that People's Pharmacy listeners first heard about four years ago is now getting attention from the medical establishment with a study in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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889 Fever and the Immune System  1/19/2013

889 Fever and the Immune System 1/19/2013

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Product Description

Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here's what it's about:

How do you handle the fever of flu? Many people turn to OTC flu remedies for symptom relief, but nearly all of them contain a fever reducing medication such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. While these may help you feel better temporarily, such medicines may prolong the infection or help it spread.

A century ago, before aspirin became popular, the old wives held to the idea of piling on quilts and blankets to sweat a fever out. New research on the biological effects of fever suggests they may have had the right idea after all.

Influenza isn’t the only infection that is getting media attention. The incredible rise in gastrointestinal illness caused by C diff (Clostridium difficile) has caused a great deal of suffering. It can be extremely hard to treat. Now The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study of an unusual treatment.

We welcome listener questions and stories about how they deal with fevers and their favorite approaches to staying healthy.

Guest: Matthew Kluger, PhD, MBA, is a professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy (College of Health and Human Services) with an adjunct appointment in the School of Management, George Mason University. His landmark research on fever was published in 1974 in Nature. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4431469] He is the author of Fever, Its Biology, Evolution, and Function.
(Princeton Univ Pr (October 1979)


Sharon Evans, PhD, is a cancer research scientist in the department of immunology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Additional Information

Air Date Jan 19, 2013

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