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Other names: Rigor[1]
SpecialtyInfectious disease
Risk factorsCold, fever[2]
FrequencyCommon in children with fever[2]

Chills is a feeling of shivering that occurs with a fever or after being in the cold.[2] Severe chills with violent shivering associated with very high fever is called a rigor.[1]


Chills is a feeling of shivering, which when associated with a very high fever can be severe; a rigor.[1] They are not the same as goose bumps.[2]


Malaria is one of the common reasons for chills and rigors. In malaria, the parasites enter the liver, grow there and then attack the red blood cells which causes rupture of these cells and release of a toxic substance hemozoin which causes chills recurring every 3 to 4 days. Sometimes they happen in specific people almost all the time, in a slight power, or it less commonly happens in a generally healthy person.

It occurs during fever due to the release of cytokines and prostaglandins as part of the inflammatory response, which increases the set point for body temperature in the hypothalamus. The increased set point causes the body temperature to rise (pyrexia), but also makes the patient feel cold or chills until the new set point is reached. Shivering also occurs along with chills because the patient's body produces heat during muscle contraction in a physiological attempt to increase body temperature to the new set point.[3] When it does not accompany a high fever, it is normally a light chill.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Rigors (Causes, Symptoms and Treatment)". Archived from the original on 25 December 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Chills: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Archived from the original on 14 November 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  3. Huether, Sue E. (2014). Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children (7th ed.). Elsevier. p. 498. ISBN 978-0323293754. Archived from the original on 2020-08-01. Retrieved 2022-03-24.

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