The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses plunged more than 85 percent before rising a bit in the aftermath of the European economic crisis of recent years. Even so, Portugal’s drug mortality rate is the lowest in Western Europe — one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark — and about one-fiftieth the latest number for the U.S.
“Fever is the body’s normal response to infection — it’s a natural defense mechanism,” says Janice Sullivan, a professor of pediatric clinical care and clinical pharmacology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and a co-author of the report. She says that a high temperature triggers the body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells and inhibits the growth of viruses and bacteria. “If you lower the fever, you may be affecting the body’s ability to respond to that infection.”