Body Temperature & Fever

Health Topics

Body Temperature & Fever

The term 'body temperature' normally relates to the temperature deep inside the body. This temperature must be maintained to ensure the stable operation of vital functions, including the brain, internal organs and main arteries.

A fever is defined as when the body's temperature is higher than normal due to an infection. The fever is usually caused by a virus or bacteria and is a way in which the body fights infection.

'Normal temperature' is usually around 37 °C (98.6 °F). However, normal temperature is not the same for every individual. Temperature can vary with age, and even time of day. Usually it is lowest in the morning, highest in the afternoon and somewhat lower at bedtime.

To correctly tell whether someone in your family has a fever or not, it is important to know what their normal temperature is when they are well.

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