A fever is a common side effect of illness like the flu. It happens when there is a temporary rise in body temperature. A fever is usually a sign that your immune system is busy fighting an infection or other illness. In babies and toddlers even a slight fever may be a sign of a serious illness. In adults a fever is not usually serious or life-threatening. However, sometimes a fever in adults can be a warning signal that something is not right.
The average body temperature is But "normal" body temperature varies from person to person. It also changes during the day, rising a bit after you eat or exercise. Body temperature is often higher in the afternoon than it is when you wake up in the morning. Fever means a body temperature of An infection, such as the flu, is the most common cause of fever. Other conditions can also cause a fever. These include diseases that produce inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, reactions to drugs or vaccines, and even certain types of cancers.
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The normal body temperature for an adult is around In this article, we discuss the normal ranges of temperature for adults, children, and babies. We also consider factors affecting body temperature, and when to call a doctor. Body temperature readings vary depending on where on the body a person takes the measurements. Rectal readings are higher than oral readings, while armpit readings tend to be lower. The table below gives the normal ranges of body temperature for adults and children according to a thermometer manufacturer:. Normal body temperature readings will vary within these ranges depending on the following factors:. A normal adult body temperature, when taken orally, can range from
A fever is a rise in body temperature. It's usually a sign of infection. The fever itself is generally harmless and probably helpful. Fevers usually don't need treatment. The average body temperature is But normal body temperature can range between 97 F Your body temperature can vary depending on how active you are or the time of day. Generally, older people have lower body temperatures than younger people have. When you or your child is sick, the main goal is to relieve discomfort and promote rest. Treating a fever neither shortens nor particularly prolongs the course of an illness.