A typical symptom of the COVID-19 is fever, and all over the world immediately measured body temperature and implement initial screening. However, have you ever wondered why the normal body temperature is 37 degrees celsius? With the spread of health knowledge, we understand that the physical temperature measurement standards will vary depending on the site. The benchmark of 37℃ for more than 100 years is actually slightly adjusted later.
Normal body temperature is actually below 37 degrees
According to a German physician in the 19th century, the normal body temperature is 37°C. Observing and measuring the normal temperature values was done from more than 25,000 patients. However, the use of this standard has been gradually reduced in recent years due to the following three reasons:
Women tend to have higher body temperature, and young people have higher body temperature than older people. The temperature is closely associated with Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) relationships. Thus, body temperature does not only vary from person to person, but also affected by other factors.
Body temperature is constantly changing due to the environment or physical condition. During the day, the temperature is usually higher because of the sun and activity.
According to a 2020 study, average body temperature has been declining over the past 157 years, according to which the latest standard body temperature may be closer to 97.5 degrees fahrenheit, approximately 36.4° C.
Humans are temperature-controlled animals. The body temperature is maintained within a certain range, allowing the body’s cells and metabolic reactions to function more effectively, and to avoid germs in and out of the body. If the body temperature is too high or low, it will cause the body to function abnormally.
The body is constantly exerting heat
Have you ever been wondered why the temperature outside is much lower than the temperature of your body, yet, you still feel hot? Didn’t it say that about 37℃ is normal body temperature? However, the temperature of 30℃ and the temperature of 37℃ is very hot. It’s actually because the body is constantly producing heat, like a car engine, and the body needs energy to function. Movements as small as a blink of an eye, to digest food or even to the physiological effects of heart beating, all uses energy. Heat is created during the process of generating energy, so the body needs to dissipate heat at warm temperatures to maintain a constant body temperature. These mechanisms include dilatation of the body’s surface vases, inhaling and exhale.
How many degrees is a fever?
As mentioned above, the normal range of body temperature will vary from person to person. Some people will have high or low body temperature. If the measured temperature slightly changes, it is still normal. It is recommended to take a break and re-take the temperature again. is more accurate because the current temperature or other physiological factors can cause the body temperature to fluctuate.
During a global epidemic, it is important to understand how body temperature is measured correctly and the criteria for fever. The Ministry of Health and Welfare explained that fever is defined as central body temperature ≥ 38℃, 37.5℃ ~ 38℃ may be mild fever. The closest to the central body temperature is anal temperature or ear temperature, and the rest of the area is prone to constriction due to skin vessels . For more details, please refer to the “Drug Food Safety Weekly Bulletin” of the Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Here is a brief description of the measurement standards for each part. If you have fever concerns, please wear a mask and go to the hospital for medical diagnosis.
The forearm temperature: >37.5℃
Ear temperature: >38℃ (between 37.5℃ and 38℃ may have minor fever, recommended to be further diagnosed by your doctor)
Mouth temperature: >37.5 ℃
Armpit temperature: >37℃
Anal temperature: >38 ℃