Human Body Temperature: Fever, Normal, Low Readings
Published: 2016-01-05 - Updated: 2023-05-17
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (www.disabled-world.com)
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Library of Related Papers: Medical Calculators and Charts Publications
Synopsis: Information and conversion charts of human body temperatures include standard, high, and low readings and COVID-19 fever readings. It is generally medically accepted that the average body temperature ranges between 36.5 °C (97.7 °F) to 37.5 °C (99.5 °F). Fever is indicated when the human body temperature rises about one degree or more over the average temperature of 37.0 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
Did you know normal human body temperature is also known as normothermia or euthermia? And your body temperature can be measured in many locations, including the mouth, ear, armpit, forehead, and rectum. However, it is worth noting that your body temperature reading will vary depending on where the measurement is taken.
The armpit is about 0.5C lower than the human body's core temperature (temperature of the internal organs) - the time of day, your age, and activity level, and, in women, the stage of the menstrual cycle can also affect your temperature reading.
COVID-19 Fever Statistics
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
- 38.1% of cases reported fatigue.
- 67.7% of cases that reported dry cough
- 87.9% of 55,924 laboratory-confirmed cases reported a fever.
COVID-19 Fever Levels
- Children: 38 °C (100.4 °F) and above (rectal temperature)
- Adults: 38 °C (100.4 °F) and above (oral temperature)
- Older adults: 37.8 °C (100 °F) and above (oral temperature)
- Or 1.1 °C above the person's usual value.
It's important to clarify that not all COVID-19 cases will get a fever, nor will everyone with a fever test positive for COVID-19, but it is a prevalent symptom (1).
- Body temperature can change throughout the day.
- Body temperature may be abnormal due to fever (high temperature) or hypothermia (low temperature).
- A temperature over 38 °C (100.4 °F) most often means you have a fever caused by infection or illness.
- It is generally medically accepted that normal body temperature ranges between 36.5 °C (97.7 °F) to 37.5 °C (99.5 °F).
Body Temperature Can Be Taken Either:
- Orally - By mouth - glass thermometer, or a digital thermometer.
- Rectally - Temperatures taken rectally tend to be 0.5 to 0.7 degrees F HIGHER than when taken by mouth.
- Forehead (Skin) - A special thermometer can quickly measure the skin's temperature on the forehead.
- Ear - A special thermometer can quickly measure the temperature of the eardrum, which reflects the body's core temperature.
- Axillary - Temperature taken under the arm (armpit) tends to be 0.3 to 0.4 degrees F LOWER than those taken by mouth.
What is the Normal Body Temperature for a Baby?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states the normal body temperature for a healthy baby is between 97 and 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit (37.94 °C). If the rectal temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, they are considered to have a fever.
What is the Normal Body Temperature for Children?
The average body temperature for children is about 37 °C (98.6 °F). A child's temperature usually averages from around 36.3 °C (97.4 °F) in the morning to 37.6 °C (99.6 °F) in the afternoon.
What is the Normal Body Temperature for Adults?
- Temperature in the mouth (oral) is about 36.8 °C (98.2 °F)
- Temperature under the arm (axillary) is about 36.5 °C (97.7 °F)
- Temperature in the anus (rectum/rectal), vagina, or in-ear (otic) is about 37.5 °C (99.5 °F)
At What Temperature Are You said to Have a Fever?
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, a fever is indicated when body temperature rises about one degree or more over the normal temperature of 37.0 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
A fever is generally agreed to be present if:
- Temperature in the mouth (oral) is at or over 37.8 °C (100 °F)
- Temperature under the arm (axillary) is at or over 37.2 °C (99.0 °F)
- Temperature in the anus (rectum/rectal), in the ear (otic) or temporal artery temperature of 38 °C (100.4 °F) or higher
A child is considered to have a fever if their rectal temperature is 38 °C (100.4 °F) or higher - or a child's armpit temperature is 37.4 °C (99.3 °F) or higher.
|Core Measurement Fever Temperature Chart and Possible Symptoms|
|Normal Body Temperature Range|
|36.5 to 37.6 °C (97.7 to 99.7 °F)||Typically reported range for normal body temperature.|
|Cold Body Temperature Range|
|36 °C (96.8 °F)||Feeling cold, mild to moderate shivering. Body temperature may drop this low during sleep. This can be a normal body temperature for sleeping.|
|35 °C (95 °F)||Hypothermia is less than 35 °C (95 °F). Intense shivering, numbness, bluish/gray skin. Possibility of heart irritability.|
|34 °C (93.2 °F)||Severe shivering, loss of movement of fingers, blueness, and confusion. Some behavioral changes may take place.|
|33 °C (91.4 °F)||Moderate to severe confusion, sleepiness, depressed reflexes, progressive loss of shivering, slow heartbeat, shallow breathing. Shivering may stop. May become unresponsive to certain stimuli.|
|32 °C (89.6 °F)||Medical emergency. Hallucinations, delirium, complete confusion, and extreme sleepiness progressively become comatose. Shivering is absent (a person may think they are hot). Reflex may be absent or very slight.|
|31 °C (87.8 °F)||Comatose, very rarely conscious. No, or slight reflexes. Very shallow breathing and slow heart rate. Possibility of serious heart rhythm problems.|
|28 °C (82.4 °F)||Severe heart rhythm disturbances are likely, and breathing may stop anytime.|
|24 to 26 °C (75.2 to 78.8 °F) or less||Death usually occurs due to irregular heartbeat or respiratory arrest; however, some patients have been known to survive with body temperatures as low as 13.7 °C (56.7 °F).|
|Fever Body Temperature Range|
|44 °C (111.2 °F) Plus||Almost certainly, death will occur; however, people have been known to survive up to 46.5 °C (115.7 °F).|
|43 °C (109.4 °F)||Normally death, or there may be serious brain damage, continuous convulsions, and shock. The cardio-respiratory collapse will likely occur.|
|42 °C (107.6 °F)||Subject may turn pale or remain flushed and red. They may become comatose and be in severe delirium; vomiting and convulsions can occur.|
|41 °C (105.8 °F)||Medical emergency. Fainting, vomiting, severe headache, dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, and drowsiness can occur. There may also be palpitations and breathlessness.|
|40 °C (104 °F)||Fainting, dehydration, weakness, vomiting, headache, breathlessness, and dizziness may occur as well as profuse sweating.|
|39 °C (102.2 °F)||Severe sweating, flushed, and red. Fast heart rate and breathlessness. There may be exhaustion accompanying this. Children and people with epilepsy may suffer convulsions at this temperature.|
|38 °C (100.4 °F)||Called hyperthermia - if not caused by a fever. Feeling hot, sweating, thirsty, uncomfortable, slightly hungry. If this is caused by fever, there may also be chills.|
What is Basal Body Temperature?
Basal body temperature is defined as the lowest temperature attained by the human body during rest (usually during sleep). Basal body temperature is generally measured immediately after awakening, although the temperature measured at that time is somewhat higher than the actual basal body temperature. In women, body temperature will differ at various points in the menstrual cycle, and this temperature change can be used to track ovulation to aid conception or avoid pregnancy.
What is Core Body Temperature?
Core temperature is the operating temperature of an organism, specifically in deep structures, such as the liver, compared to temperatures of peripheral tissues. Core temperature is normally maintained within a narrow range, so essential enzymatic reactions can occur.
What is Hyperpyrexia?
The word used for a fever with an extreme elevation of body temperature greater than or equal to 41.5 °C (106.7 °F).
What is Hyperthermia?
A high temperature that is not a fever. Causes include heatstroke, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, idiosyncratic drug reactions, malignant hyperthermia, stimulants like amphetamines or cocaine, and serotonin syndrome.
What Body Temperature Denotes Hypothermia?
Hypothermia is defined as a drop in body temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 °C). Hypothermia can quickly become life-threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency. Hypothermia is the opposite of hyperthermia, which is present in heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
°C to °F and °F to °C Body Temperature Conversion Chart
- 35.0 °C = 95.0 °F
- 35.1 °C = 95.2 °F
- 35.2 °C = 95.4 °F
- 35.3 °C = 95.6 °F
- 35.4 °C = 95.8 °F
- 35.6 °C = 96.0 °F
- 35.7 °C = 96.2 °F
- 35.8 °C = 96.4 °F
- 35.9 °C = 96.6 °F
- 36.0 °C = 96.8 °F
- 36.1 °C = 97.0 °F
- 36.2 °C = 97.2 °F
- 36.3 °C = 97.4 °F
- 36.4 °C = 97.6 °F
- 36.5 °C = 97.7 °F
- 36.6 °C = 97.8 °F
- 36.7 °C = 98.0 °F
- 36.8 °C = 98.2 °F
- 36.9 °C = 98.4 °F
- 37.0 °C = 98.6 °F
- 37.1 °C = 98.8 °F
- 37.2 °C = 99.0 °F
- 37.3 °C = 99.2 °F
- 37.4 °C = 99.4 °F
- 37.6 °C = 99.6 °F
- 37.7 °C = 99.8 °F
- 37.8 °C = 100.0 °F
- 37.9 °C = 100.2 °F
- 38.0 °C = 100.4 °F
- 38.1 °C = 100.6 °F
- 38.2 °C = 100.8 °F
- 38.3 °C = 101.0 °F
- 38.4 °C = 101.2 °F
- 38.6 °C = 101.4 °F
- 38.7 °C = 101.6 °F
- 38.8 °C = 101.8 °F
- 38.9 °C = 102.0 °F
- 39.0 °C = 102.2 °F
- 39.1 °C = 102.4 °F
- 39.2 °C = 102.6 °F
- 39.3 °C = 102.8 °F
- 39.4 °C = 103.0 °F
- 39.6 °C = 103.2 °F
- 39.7 °C = 103.4 °F
- 39.8 °C = 103.6 °F
- 39.9 °C = 103.8 °F
- 40.0 °C = 104.0 °F
- 40.1 °C = 104.2 °F
- 40.2 °C = 104.4 °F
- 40.3 °C = 104.6 °F
- 40.4 °C = 104.8 °F
- 40.6 °C = 105.0 °F
- 40.7 °C = 105.2 °F
- 40.8 °C = 105.4 °F
- 40.9 °C = 105.6 °F
- 41.0 °C = 105.8 °F
- 41.1 °C = 106.0 °F
- 41.2 °C = 106.2 °F
- 41.3 °C = 106.4 °F
- 41.4 °C = 106.6 °F
- 41.6 °C = 106.8 °F
Normal Human Body and Fever Temperature Chart
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