Narrator: Fever is one of your body's
first reactions to infection
and is common in illnesses like influenza and COVID-19.
Monitoring your body temperature,
even when you're healthy,
can help detect disease early
and help you know if it's okay to go to work or school.
Part of your brain called the hypothalamus
continually adjusts your body temperature
to maintain an optimal environment for your body functions.
Body temperatures vary with gender, age,
overall health, and environmental factors.
A normal temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit
although recent studies indicate a slightly lower average.
When your immune system detects
the presence of a virus in your body,
it signals the hypothalamus to turn up the heat,
creating a fever, a hot and hostile environment
that weakens the virus
and stimulates your immune response.
A temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
can indicate that your body is fighting an infection.
By regularly monitoring your body temperature
and learning what is normal for you,
you can immediately detect subtlely higher temperatures.
This might be an early warning sign
that you're about to get sick,
so take immediate measures to protect others.
This is critical for diseases like COVID-19
where you are contagious
several days before showing any symptoms at all.
Experts recommend taking your temperature twice daily
around the same time of day,
once in the morning within 30 minutes of waking
and again in the evening.
For best results, use the same thermometer for each reading,
avoid eating or drinking anything hot or cold
for at least 15 minutes beforehand,
and don't take your temperature
immediately after exercising.
Be sure to follow all instructions for using
and cleaning your specific thermometer.
Track your temperature on a notepad,
chart, or confidential tracking app
so you can see your results over time
and note any variations as soon as they appear.
If you have a fever or notice any abnormalities
based on your typical results,
stay home, monitor your symptoms,
and call a doctor if needed.
If you must go out, be sure to wear a cloth face mask
and stay at least six feet away from others.
By understanding your own individual body temperature,
noticing changes that might indicate an infection,
and taking immediate measures
to prevent spreading it to others,
you can help family, friends, and coworkers
stay safe, healthy, and productive.