COVID-19 has caused a lot of uncertainty all around the world, but one thing that's widely agreed upon is that a fever is a key symptom to watch out for.
However, with the coronavirus on everyone's minds right now, even a slight change in body temperature may spark fears of infection. So, what temperature is officially considered a 'fever'? And at what point should you consider seeking medical advice? Let's find out.
The Body's Temperature
The human body acts like a furnace, constantly emitting heat, which is needed to keep you alive. However, when your body begins to give out a little more or a little less heat than usual, it's usually trying to tell us that something is wrong.
The 'normal' body temperature for humans is not always the same. Often, there could be a whole degree's difference between one person and another. The standard human body temperature was set at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) way back in the 19th century, but things have changed slightly since then, with more recent studies showing the ideal human temperature at around 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 degrees Celsius).
For a typical adult, body temperature can be anywhere between 97 and 99°F (that's 36.1 to 37.2°C), with babies and children occupying a slightly higher range of 98 to 100°F (36.7 to 37.8°C). Your body's temperature doesn't stay the same all day, and it will change throughout your life too. The kinds of thing that can affect the temperature of your body are:
- Your activity levels
- Your sex
- Your age
- The time of day
- The food or drink you've consumed
The temperature of your body can also differ depending on where it is taken. For example, underarm measurements can be a whole degree lower than the temperature recorded from your mouth, and rectal measurements can be up to a degree higher than mouth readings. Any reading that is higher than your normal range is considered to be a fever.
If you're asking yourself 'what temperature is a fever?', the answer is often anything above 100.4°F (38°C). At that point, you are likely to start feeling 'off', but a fever isn't always bad for you. It's often a sign that your body is doing exactly what it should be doing when germs start to invade, i.e. fighting them off.
However, if you begin to experience temperatures of 103°F (39.4°C) or higher; if you've had a fever for more than three days; or if you start to experience symptoms such as chest pain, vomiting, rashes and headaches, then it's sensible to get in touch with your doctor
When the patient is a child, fevers are a little more complicated. Get in touch with a paediatrician if your child is:
- Younger than three months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
- Between three months and three years and has a rectal temperature of 102°F (38.9°C) or higher
- Older than three and has an oral temperature of above 103°F (39.4°C)
- Between 3-6 months and is fussier than usual, along with a high temperature
Treating a Fever
In general, a slightly higher temperature isn't always a cause for concern. Adults experiencing fevers up to 102°F (38.9°C) should rest and take on plenty of fluids. With fevers above 102°F, ibuprofen and aspirin can be used to reduce the fever. If it doesn't respond to the medication or is higher than 103°F (39.4°C), medical attention may be required.
In terms of COVID-19, your temperature alone will not tell if you are infected, but a high fever is accepted as one of the common symptoms. Therefore, it is important to regularly check your temperature to see if you are displaying a 'higher than usual' temperature.
How IDS Can Help
Here at IDS, we understand how worrying times like these can be, especially for businesses of all sizes who care about the health and safety of their staff, customers and visitors. To make things a little easier and to offer business owners some peace of mind, we now offer state-of-the-art thermal screening systems that can help track and display the temperature of any individual that enters your premises.
Temperature measurements are accurate to within 0.5°C, and the cameras can scan multiple people in less than 1 second. If your thermal imaging cameras detect an individual whose temperature exceeds the optimum range, an automatic alert will be generated and you can deny access or carry out a full health assessment as necessary.
Thermal Screening Systems >
If you require further information on how our thermal imaging cameras can help protect your business from potential COVID-19 infections, or for more on any of our other state-of-the-art systems for homes and businesses, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.