What is the correct body temperature and how to know if we have a fever

Right now, the houses in Spain are a coming and going of thermometers faced with the threat of having contracted the coronavirus. It is normal for us to worry and use this body temperature meter every little time. Beyond fever, symptoms of Covid-19 also include a dry cough, shortness of breath, and general tiredness. Therefore, it is convenient not to be alarmed but follow the recommendations for hand washing and maintain proper hygiene at the risk of increasing the chances of infection.

Surely you have doubts about what is the appropriate body temperature to worry about, that is, when it begins to be considered a fever, since this is the clearest symptom of the coronavirus. First of all, it must be specified that the number of degrees centigrade that a body presents It depends on the person and the situation you are in.

Human body temperature has been falling over the years thanks to improvements in health and increased life expectancy

As doctors assure, body temperature varies throughout the day, since it is not the same when you get up as when you go to bed. The highest considered normal is 37.5º, while the lowest is 36.5º. On the other hand, the father of clinical thermometry, Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich, established in 1851 that normal is considered 37º.

There are many studies that try to establish what is the appropriate average temperature of our body. A 2017 investigation conducted in 35,488 and published in the 'British Medical Journal' found that the mean is 36.6º, slightly less than that established by Wunderlich. Hence, another more recent study, conducted this year by Stanford Medical University, ensures that as the years and generations go by, the temperature decreases: in particular, it falls 0.03º per decade.

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The confidential

What is the reason for this drop in temperature? The scientists who carried out the study conclude that it is due to the increase in life expectancy and the progressive improvement of health systems. These are the two factors that have caused that over the years, we have the coldest blood on average.

If they are only a few tenths above and we notice some discomfort, we will be talking about low-grade fever or plain fever. This temperature can reach 38º or a little more. On the other hand, when it exceeds this mark, and above all if it reaches 39º or 40º, it is already considered hypertemia. This bodily state is very dangerousas it can cause cellular stress and heart attack.

The most reliable methods

In Spain, the most common is the thermometer under the armpit, but this shape is not entirely accurate, since environmental factors influence the result. There are analog and digital ones, but the most appropriate place to measure temperature is none other than the rectum. Although for cultural and scrupulous reasons, the most common is still the armpit. In babies, the thermometer pacifier has become popular in recent years thanks to technological advances. Another of the leading instruments that we have seen these days is the temperature control with laser guns that measure it at the moment pointing at the forehead.