Osteomyelitis is an inflammation of the bone and bone marrow mostly due to bacterial infection. "Osteo" refers to the bone. "Myelo" refers to the bone marrow, and "itis" indicates inflammation. The most common bacteria that causes osteomyelitis is Staphylococcus aureus. Infection usually occurs after an injury that exposes the bone to the outside environment, such as bone fractures or surgery. Sometimes, there is an infection in a different organ inside the body that spreads to the bone via the blood. Certain diseases like diabetes rheumatoid arthritis can lower or weaken the immune system and therefore increase the risk of developing osteomyelitis. As with any inflammation, there are two types of osteomyelitis: acute and chronic.
Normal body temperature is between 98.6 °F. People with osteomyelitis can develop a significant fever -- a temperature of 100.4 °F or higher. The chemicals released during the inflammation affect the setpoint of the hypothalamus, which stimulates muscle contraction. When muscles contract, they produce heat, and the patient feels hot and sweaty. Some people think it's a good idea to put a wet cloth on the forehead, but this is not useful. Over-the-counter medications are usually helpful, but for more severe fevers, you should seek immediate medical attention.
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