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 at the threat of having contracted the coronavirus. It is normal for us to worry and use this body temperature meter every so often. Beyond fever, Covid-19 symptoms also include dry cough, shortness of breath, and general tiredness. Therefore, it is advisable not to be alarmed but yes follow the recommendations of washing hands and maintaining proper hygiene at the risk of increasing the chances of infection.

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

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

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

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

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 us to have the coldest blood over the years.

If they are only a few tenths above and we notice some discomfort, we will be talking about dry fever or 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 dangerous, since 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 form does not become entirely accurate, since the result is influenced by environmental factors. There are analog and digital ones, but the most appropriate place to measure the temperature is none other than the rectum. Even if 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. Other of the leading instruments that we have seen these days is the temperature control with laser guns they measure it at the moment pointing at the forehead.